Stay Where You are and Then Leave, Hardback
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield's father promised he wouldn't go away to fight - but he broke that promise the following day.

Four years later, Alfie doesn't know where his father might be, other than that he's away on a special, secret mission.

Then, while shining shoes at King's Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father's name - on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor.

Bewildered and confused, Alfie realises his father is in a hospital close by - a hospital treating soldiers with shell-shock.

Alfie isn't sure what shell-shock is, but is determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place...


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 256 pages, b+w t/o
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General
  • ISBN: 9780857532930



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On his fifth birthday Alfie Summerfield discovers that his father is going off to war and will return when the war is over, before Christmas - but which Christmas? Four years pass and the letters have stopped. His mother explains that his father is on a secret mission, but Alfie believes he is dead. Alfie has been wagging school and working as shoeshine boy at King's Cross Station to help the family make ends meet, whilst his mother works hard as a nurse and takes in other people's washing. Whilst shining the shoes of a doctor, Alfie discovers that his father might just be in a nearby hospital and determines to find him and bring him home.Alfie is an endearing character and the war has provided many new challenges and issues for him to think about. The book deals with the issue of shell shock, war wounds, conscientious objectors and how foreigners (and women) in England were treated at the time. Really well done, a great story from the home front.