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1001 Tamar
Added on 13th August 2020

Author Mal Peet
First published 2005
Publisher Walker Books, UK

A beautifully told story which moves smoothly from past to present to tell a story of wartime danger and romance and expose the ways in which the past touches the present.


Tamar’s grandad leaves her a box filled with codes and messages which she must decipher to find the story of another Tamar who fought with the Dutch resistance in World War 2.

A powerful portrayal of life in occupied Holland and of what links two resistance fighters to modern Tamar and her family exploring the impact of history on Tamar and her family and her realization that her life has been shaped by her family’s past.

Why we chose it

A story which skilfully weaves past and present, to tell a story of war time danger and betrayal and trace the ways in which the past touches and shapes the present.

Where it came from

Mal Peet referred to Tamar as a historical novel but also a novel about history. He wanted to write about the importance of being connected to our history.

Where it went next

Tamar won an number of awards including the 2006 Carnegie Medal.

Associated stories

Mal Peet wrote a number of highly acclaimed novels for young adults before his untimely death in 2015. They include Keeper and The Penalty set in the world of international football, Exposure, a modern retelling of Othello which won the 2009 Guardian Children’s Fiction prize and Life: An Unexploded Diagram.(2011). His final book for young adults, Beck, was unfinished when he died. Meg Rosoff completed it and it was published posthumously.

For younger readers he wrote Cloud Tea Monkeys with his wife Elspeth Graham, a picture book illustrated by Juan Wijngaard and Night Sky Dragons, again with Elspeth Graham, illustrated by Patrick Benson.

Added on 13th August 2020

Author Mal Peet
First published 2005
Publisher Walker Books, UK