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HELP - Children's book set in WW2 on occupied channel island

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Showing 1-23 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 Aug 2010 19:35:13 BDT
R L. Ross says:
Can anyone help me? When I was at junior school (mid/late 80's) I can remember reading a story that was set in World War 2 on either Jersey or Guernsey during the Nazi occupation. All I can remember is that it was narrated from a young girl's point of view (I think), and there was a scandal caused because her school teacher fell in love with one of the German soldiers. It opened my eyes to the notion that not all German soldiers were bad, most were doing it because they had to, just like us! If anyone can help with the title and author I would be very grateful. I went through a phase of reading books set in the war and am trying to find them now that my daughter is getting to that age. Goodnight Mr Tom remains my favorite!!!
Thanks in advance!

Posted on 24 Aug 2010 21:21:43 BDT
Is it the Chalet School series by Elinor M Brent-Dyer?

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Aug 2010 22:27:41 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Aug 2010 22:31:01 BDT
LEP says:
These are books set in the Channel Isles during the occupation:
Appointment with Venus: Jerrard Ticknell
A Game for Heroes: Jack Higgins
Island Madness: Tim Binding
Karmer's War: Derek Robinson

The Ticknell book was the one I read at school. I don't remember a school teacher and a German in it though, but it might be so. It's about a pure bred, prize winning Guernsey cow, that the commandant of Sark (it's called something else in the book), wants to fly back to his farm in Germany. The islanders and the Navy smuggle her off the island. I enjoyed it.

There was a fictional TV series set in the CI about the occupation. it's not that you're thinking of is it?

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Aug 2010 06:54:12 BDT
R L. Ross says:
No, it was definately set on either Jersey or Guernsey. I do remember reading some of them though. Thanks for replying.

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Aug 2010 06:56:53 BDT
Last edited by the author on 25 Aug 2010 07:00:03 BDT
R L. Ross says:
I'll have a look at the synopsis for each of them, thanks. I know it was a book I read and definately for children. Nothing much happened, it was just about how life changed during the occupation and what the girl saw happening. I think towards the end the German ends up helping someone, but that's gone hazy now!! I'll look at your list though, thanks.
Just checked them, nothing rang a bell. Thanks anyway.

Posted on 25 Aug 2010 11:40:30 BDT
A. Harden says:
A Child's War by Molly Bihet?

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Aug 2010 14:57:02 BDT
R L. Ross says:
Thanks, I've just had a look and I'm pretty sure it's not that. It was just a kid's paperback novel. I know I was only at Junior school when I read it. Thanks anyway.

Posted on 25 Aug 2010 15:41:50 BDT
Mary Richmond's Garden of Memories (1947) is set during the German Occupation in World War Two. It begins as another holiday or visitor narrative. Margaret Charlton is on holiday in Guernsey recovering from a love affair when war breaks out. She decides to stay with the Carey family of L'Anvide during the Occupation rather than return to England. The boys of the family join the Resistance but Françoise, the Careys' daughter, falls in love with a German soldier. Margaret is taken prisoner after trying to shelter an escaped prisoner.

Fictional Representations of the Island of Guernsey
University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba <>

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Aug 2010 19:09:55 BDT
R L. Ross says:
Thanks but it was definately written from a child's point of view. It was the child's teacher who fell in love with the German. Oh I'd so love to find out what it was!

Posted on 14 Mar 2013 00:26:11 GMT
T Cope says:
It's a bit late, but was it this

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Mar 2013 17:46:55 GMT
Oz says:
Are you thinking of 'We Couldn't Leave Dinah'? That is set in the Channel Islands during the Nazi occupation and was one of my mum's favourites as a girl (she was born in 1933) - she passed it on to me when I was about 9, I suppose. It's all about a girl who is mad-keen on horses and ponies; Dinah is her pony, which she can't bear to leave behind on the island. I don't remember anything about a scandal, though, but maybe I was too young to really pick up on that and have now forgotten that aspect of the story. It even seems to have its own Wikipedia post, as it seems the author, Mary Treadgold received the Carnegie Medal.'t_Leave_Dinah

The only story I can think of where someone falls in love with a German Soldier is 'Summer of My German Soldier', where a young girl hides a prisoner of war, but that's set in America. It's a first love, so is quite innocent, as I remember it (there was a TV dramatisation of it in the 80s, I remember).
It too seems to have its own Wikipedia posting:

Any help?

Posted on 18 Mar 2013 21:08:28 GMT
R L. Ross says:
Thanks to the two new additions to this post, but no, I am sure it's neither. I doubt I'll ever find out what it was. It definately had a school girl who saw a love growing between her school teacher and a German soldier posted in the Channel Islands during the war.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Apr 2013 19:02:51 BDT
I'm looking for a similar book I read years ago. It was about a girl called Matty who moved to an island (I don't know which one) during the war. The book started in a town (possibly London) with Matty and a boy on the roof shooting water bombs at men in bowler hats. When Matty moved to the island she foiled an invasion (I forget the details) but it involved tolling the church bell. I can't remember either the author or the title. Does this sound like it ?

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Apr 2013 20:49:17 BDT
R L. Ross says:
Wow, that does ring a bell. Please let me know if you find it.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Apr 2013 08:45:20 BDT
Really excited to hear someone else is looking for the same book! I've never met anyone else who remembers it! Unfortunately I can't remember either the title or the author. I had a second-hand hardback and have been looking for the book ever since my mother gave it to a jumble sale 40 years ago without my permission! I don't remember the love interest, but I was only about 9 at the time so it probably passed me by. I found your post when I was googling a few likely words. Will carry on googling, and let you know if I find anything. Best wishes.

Posted on 19 Apr 2013 16:32:45 BDT
Fizz Foster says:
I have nothing to add, except that I would be very interested to read this book if anyone identifies it. Thanks everyone for the other suggestions in this thread - having a nan who grew up in occupied Jersey it's a subject of fascination for me.

Posted on 23 Apr 2013 09:09:39 BDT
K. Booth says:
If anyones interested in this subject, but not from a kids point of view, the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society covers it

Posted on 23 Apr 2013 10:07:35 BDT
This is not the answer to the original query, but William Douglas-home's play The Dame of Sark is lovely, describing how the Dame came to like and respect the German Commandant of Sark during the Occupation, and vice versa

As to that original query, there's a reprint house in Edinburgh who republish good children's books. They might recognise the plot, and their name is Fidra (Google them).

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Apr 2013 23:00:41 BDT
Hello there - there is definitely a title by Veronica Robinson set in Jersey, I believe,
dealing with the German occupation during ww2. Hope this helps - I'm afraid i don't know the title.

Posted on 8 May 2013 13:54:03 BDT
Colin Dore says:
If you would like a childrens book set in WW2, check out my wife's new book called The Elephantb Tree.
The Elephant Tree

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2014 21:17:00 BDT
R. English says:
It could be The Captive Isle by Veronica Robinson. She was a librarian in the children's section of Holborn Library in the 1960's.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2014 21:34:45 BDT
R L. Ross says:
It could be. Have just searched and can't actually find a synopsis of the story. Do you know it? Seems to be a rare and expensive book to get hold of to find out. Thanks

Posted on 18 Aug 2014 11:18:55 BDT
annie says:
On the subject of Sark, I remember a children's story I loved in the 60's which was set on Sark (after the war years) it was a mystery/adventure type of story with the main character being a girl - young teenager I think. I have tried google but nothing seems to come up - anyone any idea please?
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Participants:  15
Total posts:  23
Initial post:  24 Aug 2010
Latest post:  18 Aug 2014

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