Taff in the WAAF – by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom

This book is every bit as absorbing as its companion volume Tail-End Charlie.  Written in the first person, it tells the story of Mick Manning’s mother, who decided to leave her greengrocer’s job in Wales to join the WAAF, eventually becoming a listener in the Bletchley Park code-breaking team. After sixty years of silence, she now tells her compelling and very personal story.

Detailed research is evidenced on each page as every part of the book, including the end papers, is crammed with information about life on the Home Front and the role of women in the War.  Formal documents, postcards, pictures and posters are overlaid on a cartoon version of the story as it unfolds.  The formal text, speech bubbles, text boxes and images all inform the reader about rationing, clothing, blackouts, entertainment and bombing raids, as well as the more formal aspects of women’s wartime work.

Taff in the WAAF would be useful in a range of KS2 contexts – to support a World War Two topic (in particular the Home Front and the role of women) in the classroom, for personal reading and research and for group and paired reading and discussion.  The combination of image and text appeals to a wide ability range and it would be an informative and fascinating text to share in guided reading.  My Year 6 class queued to borrow it and it proved to be a resource that the children returned to regularly throughout our World War Two theme.

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