I first heard about Linda Newbery's At the Firefly Gate from Kelly over at Big A, little a and it sounded just the sort of book I'd enjoy.
Young Henry and his parents have just moved from London to a small village in Suffolk, and Henry, who is just about to move up from primary school, is worried that he won't make any friends and that he will be bored after his life in the big city. The first night that he spends in his new room, Henry sees glowing fireflies around a gate at the end of the garden that leads out into an orchard, and a shadowy figure who stands there looking at him. Henry meets his neighbours, the sulky teenager Grace, her parents, and her spinster aunt Dottie who is ill. Dottie seems to recognise Henry and he finds himself dreaming and experiencing things that are the memories of an RAF navigator who was killed in World War II and who was Dottie's fiance.
This book is a lovely combination of WW2 history, Henry's dreams and the struggles of childhood. Henry is a down-to-earth boy who experiences amazing things. Grace is an equally well-drawn character who is usually sulky but has a soft side that she rarely shows, especially to Henry. Dottie is a wonderful character who made me want to enter her garden and spend some time playing Scrabble with her and listening to her stories.
At the Firefly Gate is also available from Amazon.com.