6 July 2023
A spine chilling story about survival, betrayal and self-discovery at the time of the Berlin air-lift.
A Times Book of the Week Shortlisted for the Juniper Book Awards
Berlin, 1948. A city besieged. A boy reaches for the sky.
Otto Hartmann would do anything to be a pilot. With Berlin blockaded by the Soviets, the Americans fly to the rescue and Otto’s captivated by the matinee-idol pilots dropping chocolate for the city’s hungry kids. But never mind the Hershey bars – he wants to be up there with them.
Now Otto has to choose between those he loves or flying from a ruined city where danger lurks around every corner. And nobody is who they seem, but children are battling to survive in a desperate war-torn city.
Sweet Skies will be Robin Scott-Elliot’s fourth historical fiction novel published by Everything With Words. His latest, Hide and Seek, was a Spectator Children’s Book of the Year for 2021. His debut, The Tzar’s Curious Runaways, was a Telegraph Children’s Book of the Year for 2019. The Acrobats of Agra was one of the Observer’s Children’s Books of the Year for 2020.
Immersive, fascinating, transporting. The details are so well done, it almost feels like reading a biography at times. Otto’s relationship with his long absent father felt particularly real. Honest, unpatronising and brave.
Brilliant tale of a boy in post-war Berlin who dreams of being a pilot but is fighting to survive in a battle-weary city.
Robin Scott-Elliot is a master historical storyteller, and his writing gets better and better. Sweet Skies is a nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat adventure
Alive with atmosphere, action, dynamic dialogue, a gripping sense of Otto’s dilemmas and drive, Sweet Skies is 100% engaging, and illuminating with it.
Unusually convincing and atmospheric
‘Three recent releases set during or just after the Second World War are variably free-spirited fictionalizations of true events. The standout among these is Robin Scott-Elliot’s Sweet Skies.’