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Carrie's War (Puffin Books) Paperback – Illustrated, 31 Jan 1974
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Set in WW2, Carrie and her little brother are evacuated to Wales and billeted at the home of the bullying Mr Evans and his timid sister Lou. Unhappy at home, they love visiting fellow evacue, Albert, at the farm of Druid's Bottom. Here they meet Hepzibah Green, who knows magical stories, and Mister Johnny, who speaks a language all his own. But then things go wrong and Carrie takes things into her own hands - without guessing the awful consequences.
About the Author
Nina Bawden is one of today's best writers for both adults and children. she has often used her own childhood experiences in her books - Carrie's War is set in the mining valley in Wales where she lived as an evacuee in wartime. She studied philosophy, politics and economics at Somerville College, Oxford and finished her first novel the year after she took her degree. She won the Guardian Award for Children's Fiction for The Peppermint Pig.
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A wonderful and perceptively portrayed story where the author, who was herself evacuated during the Second World War to rural Wales, writes very convincingly of the experiences of a young girl entering adolescence and of her younger brother - indeed all of the characters were well-portrayed and it was interesting to see how the characters' personalities evolved over the course of the story. I very much enjoyed the descriptions of Hepzibah's cosy, welcoming kitchen and the meals she cooked in it, especially when compared with the more austere atmosphere in the lifeless and chilly atmosphere at the Evans' home, where "the cold air came up from the polished linoleum like air off an ice rink". With some wonderfully evocative descriptions of wartime rural Wales and with a family mystery at the heart of the story, this little book (which I first read as a child many years ago and enjoyed it just as much all these years later) is an entertaining and rewarding read and one I would recommend highly for children - and older readers too.
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