WILL'S WAR

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Will's War in Brighton & Will's War: Exile from Brighton

These two historical fiction YA novellas recount the Wartime experiences of Will Maskall, as well as his friends and neighbours. Based on actual eyewitness accounts and local anecdotes related to me by Brightonians regarding their experiences in the Brighton Blitz (Will's War in Brighton) and as evacuees (Will's War: Exile from Brighton). 


​BRILLIANT! Will’s War starts as the boy’s own adventure we all recognise, love and replayed as kids. But in the vividly described streets of Brighton, war becomes reality, and Will’s life is changed. 

(Amazon, June 15 2015)


This book is sick! (in a good way) it really defines life back then and gives young people of my age a great insight into a different time...And it’s really interesting! You really do get sucked into the life of Will and feel every emotion, great story :D

(Amazon, 28 June 2015)


A well-researched insight into a child’s life in 1940s Britain…the characters are plausible and three dimensional – you can feel with them.

(GoodReads, July 11 2015)


The book’s words flow easily, the story is catching, an overall fabulous book! You simply must read this amazing piece of writing!

(Amazon, 23 November 2014)


Fantastic! What an emotional and thought provoking book. Beautifully written I felt as if I was actually there with Will.

(Amazon, 13 September 2015)


Excellent writing. Tagging along with Will Maskall growing up in the starting phases of WW2 is amazing. You get sucked in and it’s almost as if you’re right there with him. Very contagious reading! It does get real for Will and the how-and-what of that process is very realistically written, without becoming a psychological drag.

(Amazon, 28 December 2014)


Wow what a find. Having lived in Brighton in my childhood I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. I wasn’t disappointed. I found myself remembering stories that my dad had told me about him growing up in Brighton during the war. Even down to being able to see the pilot’s faces in the enemy aircraft as it passed over their heads, and collecting shrapnel from the streets. I can’t wait for the next instalment. I loved every moment of it.

(Amazon, 22 June 2015)


I read this book on kindle with a view to sending the paperback to my grandchildren. Once I started reading I got really engrossed in the story and I had to keep reading until the very end. It is a very moving, emotional, interesting and entertaining story of Will and his friends living in Brighton, Sussex, getting caught up in the mounting horrors of WW2 in their home town. I come from East Sussex and found that the author has captured the scenes and the times exceptionally well so I will definitely be buying the paperbacks for my family as I feel it is important to keep the memory of what Sussex suffered in the last war alive and this book does that from a very personal angle.

(Amazon, 15 June 2015)


I like this well-written, interesting, entertaining and emotional story about Will and his friends and family in WW2 in Brighton, Sussex, so much I have awarded it 5 stars. The author really puts you there in that place, during that time, and under those circumstances; reading this book is like being there, it is so real. Brilliant book, highly recommended.

(Amazon, 17 June 2015)



Enjoyed Will’s War from start to finish. Nisse really gets to grips with the story of Will, his reactions to life in war time Brighton, together with his neighbours, friends and family. Experience happiness, tinges of sadness and mischief, through the eyes of young Will. This book will transport you to the 1940s with a storyline that makes you want to read the whole book in one go, which I did.

(GoodReads, July 8 2015)


A very engaging and readable story about Brighton’s experience during WW2 from the perspectives of twelve year old Will and nine year old Brenda. Will in particular has mixed feelings – there is much about the war that is exciting to a young boy growing up, until the shocking reality hits home. The children’s points of view are very authentic and the story blends pace with real incidents that took place during the war in Brighton.

(Amazon, August 23 2015)

So well written and absolutely correct in the history of the war in the town. I wish my parents were still alive to read it as so many things they spoke of you have included with great sympathy into Will’s story. They were my parents’ stories and so lovely to see them in print. Thank you. An excellent read and highly recommended.

(One of the Brightonian contributors to Will’s War in Brighton, 25 August 2015)


Fascinating to follow the threatened invasion of Brighton in WW2 through the eyes of a little boy. The intriguing descriptions of what Will sees and the way he communicates with his peers make this book almost as vivid as a real Ingmar Bergman film. Magnificent to see how he deals with reality when it becomes too much to bear.

(Amazon, 30 November  2014)


Brighton, Sussex, England during World War Two, what a step back in time, what a rollercoaster ride into the war-torn south coast and into Will’s life. He didn’t know why his little world was turned upside down, but being a resilient Sussex boy, he tried to make the best of it.

(Amazon, 11 February 2015)


This is a great book for people who lived in Brighton through WW2. I for one enjoyed reading this book, it brought back so many good memories.

(Amazon, 20 October 2015)


This is a war-time story from children’s points of view. It all starts of as an adventure for Will and his chums but when the bombs are dropping it isn’t fun anymore. It is for real. My father was that age during the war and he has never spoken of it, except to say he got sent away from home to live in the country. Nor did my soldier grandfather talk about it, so this book brings it all to life for me. Brighton got hit bad and this story tells what happened to the people living there and how they coped, in an emotive way. Having read this kindle edition I am purchasing the paperback for the family to read. Lest we forget.

(Amazon, 17 June 2015)



Will’s War in Brighton is a story about the activities of an eleven-year-old boy and his friends living there at the start of World War II. As a Brightonian the same age as the fictional ‘Will’, it brought back many memories of those difficult times. Readers of other generations will find it an interesting read that records some of the problems that the war brought to the daily lives of adults and children. These included the rationing of food and petrol, the reduction in school hours as many teachers were called up for service; tedious hours spent in air-raid shelters, and anxious minutes looking skywards trying to decide whether passing planes were ‘ours’ or ‘theirs’! Will’s War is an enjoyable and informative story with a touch of local history thrown in!

(Letter from a reader, 2015)

This story is from a lad’s point of view during the war in Brighton where I live. It’s full of factual events which interfere with the lives of Will and his friends and family. As it progresses more and more happens to disrupt their lives will never be the same again. A well written interesting story which held my interest throughout.

(Amazon, 1 July 2015)


As I live in Brighton I can say that the book gives a realistic account of WW2 in Brighton. Some of the things I knew, but his research with local people who were alive in the war brought out a lot of detail, I found it fascinating. A very readable book that adults and teenagers would enjoy. Although I was born after the war, I can still remember sweet shops with jars of different coloured sweets sold loose in paper bags, and it was like a trip to the past. Great characters and very readable, though there are distressing parts, it’s not a depressing book to read and was a delight to me.

(Amazon, 1 October 2015)


Loved reading this! I didn’t really know what to expect after reading Nils’ previous books, which were more towards the fantasy genre. Although this book does fit into the ‘series’, the only fantasy you’ll find is in the head of Will, a young boy at the start of WW2. Will’s adventures are very recognisable…it’s a joy reading about all the stuff Will encounters, the adventures that unfold, and certainly not the least The inevitable drama. It’s all stuff that you could have gotten into as well, but written down in a very enjoyable manner. 

(Amazon, 15 June 2016)


I loved it from beginning to end, war or no war. Suitable for Secondary School age group and upwards, this book is a first-hand account of WW2 as seen through the eyes of a Brighton boy and his friends and family. How they coped with events as they unfolded in their world and how they reacted to them. The characters are so real you think you were there too in those traumatic times.

(GoodReads, 13 April 2015)


I really liked this sequel to the first Will’s War book. In this story Will meets new relatives and makes new friends in the Wyrde Woods of Sussex he was evacuated to from Brighton. He has more adventures, new feelings and old worries about the war (WW2) which still rages on, but they all make do and mend and mostly keep calm and carry on. I found this story very authentic of the times and, extremely interesting, and entertaining with happiness and sadness intertwined.

(GoodReads, 31 May 2016)