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Mohinder's War

Bali Rai

A thrilling World War II adventure set in occupied France, featuring an Indian RAF pilot.

Great for fans of Michael Morpurgo and John Boyne, and those who want diverse historical fiction.

Thirteen-year-old Joelle Breton stumbles across Indian-born RAF pilot Mohinder Singh when his plane crashes in occupied France and it’s up to her and her parents to hide him from the Nazis.

But when they are betrayed and tragedy strikes, Joelle and Mohinder will have to act fast if they are ever to evade the enemy.

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  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • 9781472958396
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Reader Reviews

A really interesting story and a quick and enjoyable read. I was surprised there wasn’t any factual information/research included at the end, for real-life/historical context or at least a short interview/Q&A with the writer as to where his inspiration came from.

24 August 2021

I didn’t like this book because it was about war and a lot of people were killed in this book.I couldn’t bear the fact that all the people that Joelle loved had been murdered. If that had ever happened to me, I would have been so sad that I would move to another continent in the other side of the world where it is safer. I would recommend this book to 11 year old children.

03 August 2021

It is wartime. Thirteen year old Joelle Breton detests the violent and cruel Nazis who have invaded and occupied her country of France and threaten its people – so when she finds Mohinder, the injured British-Indian RAF pilot of an English plane that has crashed in the woods close by to her house, she is determined to protect him in the spirit of bravery and resistance against the Nazis. Her parents (who are part of the French Resistance) are also willing to aid the pilot, and he and Joelle soon become firm friends. But in occupied France it is difficult to know who to trust, and soon Joelle discovers that their fight for survival in a country presided over by a brutal and savage enemy is only just beginning…

I enjoyed this new war story by Bali Rai and thought it inspiring that it was not just about the British, but that we venture into France in the story to put ourselves into the shoes of a thirteen year old French girl who is forced to shoulder responsibilities beyond her years. We also meet Mohinder, the British Indian pilot who vows to always protect this girl half his age and although the two are not related by family, they are bonded together by something just as strong: love, friendship, courage and faith in the souls of each other, throughout a period in which they are both thrown into grave danger.
There were one or two frightening aspects about this book (as would be expected in a war story) which might worry more sensitive readers like me, although there is nothing graphic. The book is gripping and hair-raising and I found myself wishing the characters to safety – something scarce in German-occupied France, but can they find it?

The language in this book was not too difficult to understand and so I’d say that the book would be suitable for readers 9+ in this aspect. Due to the content, I would overall suggest this book to be appropriate for readers of Year 6 and above. The book isn’t too long but it would certainly keep you entertained for a few days!

I would definitely recommend this tale to fans of adventure, war and danger. The style and type of this book reminded me vaguely of Terry Deary’s fiction such as Put out the Light. I definitely like this more and it’s my favourite book about the French Resistance from the ones that I’ve read!
I give this book 7.5 out of 10 stars!
By Y, aged 12

“The Germans have placed a reward on your capture… We must think very carefully about our next move.”

06 September 2020

A great book on WW2. I love books set in this time – and I know children do as well. I think it’s important to read about different viewpoints of the war – and this book certainly does this! Mohinder is unlike any WW2 hero I’ve read about. An excellent read.

30 August 2020

Received this in my reading rocks teacher subscription. Read it quickly, it’s a very accessible text in terms of language. The theme however, would need a more mature reader or one that had already been exposed to some learning about WW2. Without spoiling it for anyone, it is a good example that for a character to see and experience something truly awful, an almost explanatory description can be more powerful than a multitude of adjectives.
It’s so good to see other depictions of the people that fought at that time. There needs to be more of these across historical fiction. People need to be written back in.

14 August 2020

Mohinder’s War is a brilliant book about a young French girl named Joelle who one day finds an English soldier from India in the woods. He and Joelle go on a life-risking mission past Germans to reach England. I love this book because there is so much emotion and heart-break for the characters that it is impossible to put the book down. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in WW2.

05 August 2020