Review Blog

Aug 12 2019

When we were warriors by Emma Carroll

cover image

Faber and Faber, 2019. ISBN: 9780571350407. pbk., 148 pgs.
(Ages: 7+) Emma Carroll has beautifully written a book which explores themes of family and friendship with some mystery and adventure during World War Two. The book consists of three short stories set along Devon Coast in war torn England during the summer of 1942.
In each short story we enter the life of a child and discover how their own life and other children's lives were disrupted by evacuation to the country and bombings in these country towns. Many children were separated from their families.
What I really liked was how an ordinary everyday child rose up and showed both courage and strength and with their friends they took hold of each adventure. The characters all had their own personalities which were very real and likable. Out of everyone I have to say Eddie Johnston the American soldier and Velvet were my favourite.
Each story was a standalone read but also were connected in an interesting way.
Story 1 - 'The Night Visitors' was about Stan and his sisters and how their lives changed by being moved from London to Frost Hollow Hall after their house was bombed.
Story 2 - 'Oliver's Army' was based on Oliver and his adventures in Budmouth Point and oh what adventures he had. Oliver and his siblings were part of the Kinder transport during the war.
Story 3 - 'Operation Greyhound' was about Velvet and how she coped with obstacles found in bomb shelters to save everyone's pets and what to do when she found a man lying in the street during an air raid.
After reading When We Were Warriors I am interested in more of Carroll's books especially the ones based around Frost Hollow Hall.
Maria Komninos

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