A great thriller with a poignant historical background… terrific
The Bookseller September Highlights
Dowswell achieves a sense of balance between the fast paced action and adrenaline rush of a thriller and the detail and realism of a historical novel in this perfectly pitched hybrid novel which will keep readers gripped throughout.
Books for Keeps
The stifling atmosphere and fear pervading people’s lives in post war East Berlin are intensely felt… The author has created a thoroughly absorbing story within a real historical setting to great effect, appealing to teenage readers across the board.
The Book Trust
Dowswell is increasingly well known for his detailed, thoughtful accounts of actual historic events and his enviable talent for presenting history in a fresh and accessible manner for his teenage audience.
The Truth About Books
We loved this one - it combines awesome, accurate research with genuine tension and sympathetic, well-rounded characters.
The Book Bag, August 2011
‘Sektion 20 is one of those rare books which can be used as an effective and enjoyable teaching resource.’
Viewpoint, University of Melbourne Graduate School of Education.
Sektion 20 is far and beyond one of the best accounts of post-War Eastern-Bloc Germany I have ever read
Book Angel Booktopia
Paul Dowswell writes very well constructed historical books which are never mere entertainment, rather, they offer kids the opportunity to immense themselves… in the important events of the past. (He) is a great writer that we should certainly recommend to our children.
Camilla Biagini, Contatto News, Italy
The Cabinet of Curiosities
A dark and chilling historical adventure that seamlessly combines fact and fiction.
The Cabinet of Curiosities is a gripping, thrilling adventure set against a fascinating historical backdrop. Dowswell is a key writer of historical fiction for teens and young adults - open the Cabinet and set off on an amazing, exhilarating literary adventure.
South China Morning Post
This gripping and dramatic story is well-placed to conquer any prejudice that teenage readers might have against historical novels.
Pacy, with great characterisation, it's rich with wonderful historical detail. Recommended.
A powerful historical drama full of political intrigue and rich in the trickery of alchemy, this is a fascinating and original story about one boy’s role in saving a great kingdom.
Julia Eccleshare. Lovereading4kids
Ausländer ranks among the very best of wartime historical fiction.
A breakthrough into the top league for Dowswell, ...There will be many adults who will be sneakily borrowing this from their children.
The Bookseller ‘Ones to watch’ Top Title
Dowswell is one of the best new writers of historical fiction for children. [Ausländer] comes close to classics such as ‘The Silver Sword’.
Dowswell's compelling story is told without sentimentality…Believable characters wrestle with impossible choices as the writer opens a window into the true horror of the time…
Fiction Focus, Australia
Paul Dowswell’s name on the front of Ausländer is enough to overcome Nazi fiction fatigue, for he is a brilliant historical novelist… (He) shows us a side of Nazi Germany rarely seen.
Dowswell's previous youth fiction novels have shown that he is a writer with a talent for using historical fact as a basis of thrilling fiction, and Auslander is an outstanding example of the grip novels like this can have on a reader…
South China Morning Post
Well constructed, morally complex and consistently engaging, this examination of a people's complicity with evil is revealing and important.
The Auslander is a powerful piece of young adult fiction that appeals just as comfortably to adult readers. Mr. Dowswell provides a wonderful character study of an average Polish boy searching for the resolve to fight Nazi propaganda and help victims of persecution. The Auslander will be remembered long after its covers are closed.
New York Journal of Books
The characters are rich and nuanced, flawed people caught up in a terrible time; the action is swift and suspenseful; and the juxtaposition of wartime nobility and wartime cruelty is timeless.
The Horn Book Magazine
an effective and totally riveting tale…
School Library Association ‘Boys into Books’ recommendations
(In Best children’s novels for 11+)
The Times November 22, 2006
PREPARE to have your timbers well and truly shivered by Paul Dowswell and his naval warfare novels… With detail that points to extensive research and a plot with more snap than a cat o' nine tails
The Scotsman November 12, 2006
A thrilling tale, exceptionally well written and affecting
The Times March 11, 2006
…more vivid than a Patrick O’Brian novel.
The Independent October 21, 2005
Introduction to the
Paul Dowswell’s Introduction to the Second World War…is superb. It lays out information in clear, vivid paragraphs illustrated by dramatic period photographs. Highly recommended.
The Times, June 11, 2005
A fantastic book for young and old alike, and don't be put off if you're not usually interested in war books – this isn't one bit boring and it's not just for boys! One of my favourite books so far this year.
Waltham Forest Guardian, April 28, 2005
A selection of other book reviews from 1995 to 2003:
The Northern Ireland Book Award 2012
The Cabinet of Curiosities
The Historical Association Young Quills Award 2011
Also selected for ‘The Best Children's Books of the Year’ by the Bank Street Book Committee, New York.
One of six books chosen from a longlist of 100, this is the second instalment of the Powder Monkey trilogy, where Sam is transported to Australia.
True Polar Adventures
Shortlisted for the 2003 Blue Peter Book Awards
Heartbreak and heroism at the top and bottom of the world: from hapless Robert Falcon Scott and his doomed polar party to Norwegian Borge Ousland, strutting across the icecaps in 1993, with Jimi Hendrix on his Walkman. Plus a few more you may never have heard of, in this addition to the "True Stories" series.
True Stories of Heroes
Shortlisted for the 2002 Blue Peter Book Awards.
These tales of heroism take in cosmonauts, athletes, surgeons, firemen, soldiers, spies and even Evel Knievel. Part of a series of books I wrote for Usborne on Survival, Escape, Spies, Ghosts, Everest and Polar Explorers.
The Complete Book of the Microscope
Winner of the 1999 Rhône-Poulenc Junior Prize for Science Books.
I edited and wrote this beautifully designed book with Kirsteen Rogers. Kirsteen wrote the majority of the text, but the sections on insects, micro- and nanotechnology, and the history of microscopes, are mine.
The Medieval Messenger
Shortlisted for the 1997 Times Educational Supplement Information Book Award.
One of a series of six historical newspaper spoofs I originated with designer Karen Tomlins, who had a brilliant eye for newspaper and advert design. Fergus Fleming and I wrote the books in the series between us, and this one was co-written. Quite the most fun I ever had writing and editing a set of books.
The Usborne Geography Quizbook
Geographical Association Highly Commended Award 1992.
Co-written and edited with Marit Claridge, this is actually a highly-illustrated information book with additional quiz questions.
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