In this interview on her book 'Spies in the Sky', Beverley McWilliams discusses the power of animal stories to teach sensitive topics to young readers.

What inspired you while writing Spies in the Sky? 

I adopted a rescued pigeon around 10 years ago and while I was searching for a name, I came across a list of pigeons awarded the Dickin Medal for their service during World War Two. I knew pigeons had played a part in the war, but until then I was unaware of the National Pigeon Service or how many lives were saved by these remarkable birds. The more I looked into the history, the more fascinated I became. I wrote an article called ‘Feathered Heroes’ for The School Magazine, and I knew then that I would love to develop the ideas into a children’s book. So when my publisher asked for a follow-up book to The Reindeer and the Submarine, I suggested a story about World War Two pigeons. They loved the idea and Spies in the Sky was born. 

How does this story match/relate to other stories you have written?