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4.8 out of 5 stars33
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 5 February 2012
Trevor manages to write books `for children' that appeal to generations far beyond. He writes with a pen both gentle and humorous and each book leaves the reader wanting more of his words. The subject (war) is not one I would normally choose but having read other books by this author, I knew it would be treated with respect and compassion. I was not disappointed.

Although aimed at the younger reader, this book is a delight for any age, a suitable length to enjoy on a train journey, or with a slow cup of tea.

As a reader classed as an adult, but one who is grateful not to be old enough to remember the great wars, this story took me on a safe journey through what were very sad, challenging and scary times. Peggy Larkin is a brave and delightful character, and I'm glad to have learned some history `through her eyes'. Like the other posters here, I would love to read more.

I have the paperback version, and this book has been read by neighbours' children too, and hasn't finished the rounds yet. It has encouraged the children to ask questions and understand the times that Peggy lived in.

Aged 10++++
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on 13 February 2012
`Peggy Larkin's War' is a story not about guns, bombs or soldiers; more about the relationship between mother and daughter.

When young Peggy is sent away as an evacuee of the war, the tearful goodbye to her mother is heart-breaking.

A story written for children between the ages of seven and eleven, the heroine of the novel is thrown into many an adventure from the moment she steps foot on the "Evacuation Express Number Three".

Jumping off at a station to use the toilets, she is horrified when the train whisks away, leaving her behind and lost. With the other children hurtling towards their new families and leaving no spare home for Peggy, she is pushed from pillar to post in a bid to find a new abode.

Having escaped the clutches of creepy Sam the farmer who seems hell-bent on working her fingers to the bone, she is grateful that Mrs Henderson takes her under the wing.

This is the main crux of the story for me - the relationship between child Peggy (who has to grow up quickly before her time) - and Mrs Henderson who, though adamant not to like kids, seems to take quite an affectionate fondness for Peggy.

However writer Trevor Forest doesn't give the heroine an easy ride. There are plenty of adventures Peggy must face as she tries to cope in her new home; not to mention the arrival of Alfie, fellow misfit and playmate.

Peggy is a brave little cookie and a fantastic heroine. Her courageous letter to her mother; where she tries to pretend that everything is fine so as not to make her mum worry; really touches the heart. I just wanted to give her a big hug and tell her everything would be okay!
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VINE VOICEon 2 April 2011
I read Peggy Larkin's War straight through in one sitting. It charmed me and was a delight to read.

When Peggy, her brother, Harry, and other evacuees leave their parents and grandparents behind in London for the safety of their temporary new homes in the country - somewhere most of them have never been before - it seems more than enough of an adventure. But Peggy is about to unwittingly find herself involved in another, set in motion when she gets off the train before she should.

Peggy is a smart little girl and a very likeable character. I entirely sympathised with her every step of the way, from the moment she makes her initial mistake through all the slips she makes while adjusting to her new life in the country and the mysteries it throws up. You can't help but root for her.

There are some lovely details about what it must have been like for evacuees - both in their lives before in London (contrasting Alfie and Peggy) and now in the country - and I really felt for the kids being uprooted from all they know and sent to live with complete strangers, some of whom are just looking for a source of cheap labour.

There's a great mix of humour, sadness, history, mystery and adventure, together with some wonderful characters, and I'm sure the book will appeal to both boys and girls, as well as their parents.
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on 28 March 2011
I have just read this story in one sitting and would defy anyone not to do the same. The story grips you from the first page when we first meet Peggy, a ten year old evacuee as she bravely boards the train for the countryside.

Forest has a real gift for depicting the deeds and thoughts of our headstrong, warm, and funny heroine in a way that is totally believable. Along with her fellow evacuee Alfie, Peggy embarks upon unexpected adventures, which I believe would have youngsters on the edge of their seats to see how the story ends. It has fantastic pace, and just the right balance of action and narrative for children of this age group.

Many children will have looked at the period of The Second World War at school. This story would compliment their learning and facilitate empathetic understanding, as it brings the past to life in a really exciting way.

I would recommend Peggy Larkin's War unreservedly, and have only one criticism - it ended too quickly! Peggy is crying out for more adventures, and I sincerely hope that Trevor Forest is prepared to let her have them.
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on 28 March 2011
`Peggy Larkin's War' by Trevor Forest

It's often a sign of quality in a children's book that it has equal appeal for adults. And, in the case of `Peggy Larkin's War', this is certainly true.

Set at the beginning of World War Two, it tells the story of Peggy Larkin, a young girl who is evacuated from London to the countryside. There's the mystery of a locked room in the house that Peggy lodges in and of the reason behind the sadness of Mrs Henderson, the house's owner. There's also the sinister presence of a stranger in the woods. The story follows Peggy as she endures separation from her parents and makes a brave attempt to settle into her new life. Along the way she makes a new friend and demonstrates remarkable stoicism and resilience.

Forest's writing is excellent and is pitched perfectly for its intended readership of upper primary school age children. He doesn't patronise and he writes with an immediacy and economy that will appeal to children. Forest never intrudes into the story, and it never feels like he's trying to educate or preach. This is child-friendly, accessible entertainment. It's all about the story.

The only disappointing aspect for me was the book's brevity. Having set up such great characters and a setting with so many possibilities, it would have been good to have further chapters and more adventures for Peggy.

It would also be great to see this book in paperback. At the moment it's only available for Kindle and at least as far as my own pupils are concerned primary school children don't tend to own e-book readers. It's got a cracking good cover for one thing. But more importantly than that, it would be a good book to have in school libraries and in World War Two project boxes.

But in the mean time parents, grandparents and teachers it would be well worth purchasing Peggy's story for your Kindle's and reading this aloud to the children in your lives.
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on 30 March 2011
Although this book is aimed at the 8-12 years age group, it is easily one of the most enjoyable books I have had the pleasure of reading in a while. The style reminds me a little of Enid Blyton, one of my favourite childhood authors. Coupled with the stunning cover, it just makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, making me want to curl up in my pyjamas with a mug of warm milk.

Trevor captures the characters and the era perfectly. The characters come to life on the page and it is all too easy to get lost in Peggy's world. It manages to be both entertaining and educational, which is no mean feat. Plus, there is so much scope for further Peggy Larkin stories.
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on 30 January 2012
I read this book last night and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it, the writing style was fast paced enough for adults and children alike, the detail of the war time Britain was amazing and painted a graphic picture of what the charactors were going through. I was happy, sad, slightly scared all the way through the story and just had to keep turning the pages.
It is aimed at 8-12 year olds, but I feel adults and children alike will enjoy this book, my only problem was I wanted more adventures! Any chance of a sequel then?
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on 13 February 2012
What a gorgeous book. Aimed at 8-12s, but I believe Peggy Larkin's War would be enjoyed by anyone with a pulse. This book reminded me of everything I ever loved about adventure books as a child. It made me smile, a lot. And it brought a tear to my eye at the end as well. Loved it!
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on 22 April 2011
I had the honour to read an early draft of this tale and even though I can hardly be described as a child (I'm 61) I found it compelling reading. It's the kind of tale I'd enjoy reading to my grandchildren. Historically accurate, it highlights the problems faced by evacuee children during WWII, and just to keep us reading, Peggy helps us solve a puzzling mystery.

Excellent value, and excellent tale from an excellent author.
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on 18 March 2011
Peggy Larkin' War is a wonderful story. Travel with Peggy and you will be in for a tale of not only what it was like for children evacuated during the war (ww2), but with mysteries to boot - and not the kind you would expect. Peggy's a brave, quick-witted little girl and she and her friend Alfie makes a good team. Well, I'm saying no more... you will have to buy the book. I promise you an excellent read! And yes, I know it's a children's book, but don't let that stop you. An excellent story that pulls us along with it, and begs for a sequel.
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