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Carrie's War

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  5,609 Ratings  ·  149 Reviews
Albert, Carrie and young Nick are war-time evacuees whose lives get so tangled up with the people they've come to live among that the war and their real families seem to belong to another world. Carrie and Nick are billeted in Wales with old Mr Evans, who is so mean and cold, and his timid mouse of a sister, Lou, who suddenly starts having secrets. Their friend Albert is l ...more
Paperback, 142 pages
Published November 27th 2003 by Puffin Books (first published 1973)
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Cora ☕ Tea Party Princess
This book was a trip down memory lane for me - it was one of my favourites growing up.

If Carrie's War does nothing else, it teaches you a few lessons and it makes you happy and thankful for your lot. And if you have siblings, it makes you appreciate them more.

Carrie and Nick are children, and the story is told from Carrie's perspective. It was never going to be amazing and insightful in an adult way, but reading it as an adult has helped me better understand it.

A great read and a modern classic.
Nikki
Reading this book was rather distracting, since some other English Lit student had helpfully annotated it before me. Comments like "she takes refuge in household tasks" and "here gender roles are reasserted" are rather irritating when you're trying to read a book as a child. Carrie's War is set during the World War, and contains little details that place it well in that time -- the gas masks, the trains, the rationing -- in a way that's pretty matter-of-fact. Not "ooh look at me I'm historical f ...more
Laura
Nov 29, 2016 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC School Radio:

Episode 1:
Carrie returns, as a grown up, to the Welsh town where she and her brother Nick were evacuated in World War 2. She takes her children along the old railway line, but everything is overgrown and looks different. Carrie tells the story of her time there, starting with the train journey from London to Wales…

Episode 2:
Carrie and Nick go to live at the grocers shop with Mr Evans and his sister, who they call Auntie Lou. Auntie Lou is kind, but tells them lots of house
...more
Kerry
Jan 20, 2012 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is set within the Second World War and centres on Carrie and her brother Nick being evacuated to Wales from London.

We are told of Mr. Evans and his sister who own a shop and Carrie and Nick are sent to live with them, Mr. Evans is very strict and even his sister - Auntie Lou as she is referred to is fearful of him!

The book tells us of the adventures Carrie, Nick and another evacuee- Albert sandwich get up to in Druid's bottom, the curse of the skull which is locked in the library and w
...more
Brett
Dec 07, 2012 Brett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was very young, probably about eight years old. Then in Year Five in primary school the teacher read it to us. I was obsessed with this book, renting the audiobook from the library (even though I could read the book no problem) and watching the film nearly every weekend.

In secondary school we had to read it again and the teacher was so impressed about how much I knew about the novel. We used to have English on a Friday afternoon and my teacher would read the book aloud t
...more
Sophie Young
Boring book
Rhian Niblett
Sep 01, 2013 Rhian Niblett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wayne
May 15, 2016 Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all ages
Recommended to Wayne by: a TV dramatisation in the 1970's
The magic names of characters and places in this book
- Mrs Gotobed, Albert Sandwich, Hepzibah Green, Mister Johnny, Druid's Bottom, Druid's Grove,
remain magic, even when you realise this is no Harry Potter.

Then there is mean Mr Evans, a bully and referred to as an Ogre, and his bullied younger sister, the mousey Auntie Lou, to whose Welsh home Carrie Willow and her younger brother Nick are evacuated to escape the German bombardment of London.

No magic here - dislocation,an unhappy household.
Nick
...more
Naomi Sarah
This was sweet. Really. :-)

What I liked:
1. Carrie. She's Adorable. I love how she likes people that no-one else does. That she keeps on believing that Mr Evans has a good heart under all that strictness. One can learn things from Carrie. She's a great soul. :-)
2. Nick. He was just fun. :-P
3. There were a great variety of characters, which I always appreciate. Aunt Lou, all the scared and emotional. Hepzibah, mysterious and elegant.
4. The names were very... interesting. Sometimes. Which, of cours
...more
Yve-Anne
May 27, 2012 Yve-Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really loved this old children's book which, reading as an adult, has not lost its charm. Short and sweet. Give it a go!
Pam_matharu
Jan 20, 2013 Pam_matharu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A girl called Carrie and her younger brother Nick are evacuated to the countryside, and whilst Nick is excited for the move, Carrie is more worried about the War and the distance from her parents. When they arrive to the countryside, they meet a woman who is nice to them, but she has a Brother called Mr Evans who is strict and looks to keep an eye on them. The man puts them to work in his corner shop and even his own sister is afraid of him. Whilst Carrie, her brother and friends enter a place c ...more
Megan Chard
Aug 25, 2011 Megan Chard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carrie's War takes a different route to a World War Two story and focuses on the story of Carrie who has been evacuated along with her younger brother Nick. They arrive in a Welsh Mining Town after traveling from London 'labelled up like parcels'.

Carrie and Nick go to stay with siblings Mr Evans and Louise (Auntie Lou). As the children adjust to the strict rules of Mr Evans house they both fall in love with suppressed Auntie Lou, and whilst Nick hates Mr Evans Carrie begins to feel sorry for hi
...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Carrie's War by Nina Bawden is the story of Carrie and her little brother Nick during World War II. The children were sent to live in the country, away from the bombings in London, for their own safety. I'd bet you $55 million dollars you could not show me a children's story with characters more real and more human. The children are placed with an absurdly cheap shopkeeper and his mousy sister for the war's duration, and they are very unhappy there, suffering from the shopkeeper's frugality and ...more
Lynne
Feb 09, 2016 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First read aged about 11, and still have the old tv tie-in paperback we had in school. Teaching it is definitely not the same as discovering it as an impressionable child. The story of the two evacuees Carrie and Nick sent to a strange Welsh valley and their experience with the odd Gotobed family as well as the evangelical Councillor Evans is still an enjoyable if, in retrospect, an ultimately sad story of love, loss and regret.
Harry Casey-Woodward
I haven't read 'Goodnight Mister Tom' since primary school, but I think this is a more interesting evacuee story. History and myth weave through this charming tale of three children being evacuated to a Welsh valley during WW2, based I think on the author's own experiences.
At many points, I thought this was going to turn into a ghost or fairy story. There are plenty of spooky moments. But it's more about the characters' relationships and their judgements of each other.
The characters themselves
...more
Fiona
Jan 11, 2017 Fiona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars. I was suprised reading this, as Carries War is considered a classic of children's WWII literature, but the plot doesn't focus on the war at all really, this story is about two children discovering a new place and new people and the relationships between children and adults. Mr Johnny was interesting although I would like to know more about the nature of his disability. Mr Evans was the most thought provoking character as his motivations and personality the reader could never quite be ...more
Irene Lazlo
Aunque esté dirigido a lectores más jóvenes, este libro no se hace cursi ni es demasiado evidente, de hecho no pude adivinar el giro que da la historia hacia el final. Me gusta que la autora tome mucho de las novelas clásicas inglesas en los temas y las soluciones narrativas y creo que lo hace de una manera muy respetuosa y no tiene nada de refrito. Es un libro con un tema bastante interesante, personajes variados y profundos y emociones reales. No te da todo hecho y deja espacio a la reflexión ...more
CharlotteN
An interesting thought provoking book. I remember reading it a few years ago and not understanding it but now it is clear. The character that stood out the most to me was Albert their was something about his character I found interesting:a very deep character who I would like to know more about.
Rebecca McNutt
Carrie's War is about the war, but it's so much more than that. Ultimately is a story of beloved friends separated, the way they deal with their circumstances and the way they reunite.
Yvonne Naudi
Jan 10, 2017 Yvonne Naudi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cute little book. It was a pleasure reading it.
Alex Baugh
Nov 08, 2011 Alex Baugh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
Carrie’s War is a coming of age story with a twist. While visiting the small Welsh mining town where she was billeted during World War II, Carrie Willow, a 42 year old widow with four children, tells them the story of her evacuation. At the start of the war, Carrie, then 11 and her younger brother Nick, 9, were put on a train along with so many other school children, to escape the anticipated bombing of London by the Germans.

In Wales, they end up living with a bullying, miserly shopkeeper, Mr.
...more
Elizabeth Moffat
Feb 28, 2016 Elizabeth Moffat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carrie's War was an absolute must for our Kid Lit challenge in 2016 as I was determined this was the year I was finally going to read it. What a surprise I got to find that I remembered certain parts of the book as I came across them - yes, I had already read it! Goodness knows when, but as I read it for the second time some sections felt very familiar and others very new. From the synopsis, you assume it's going to be another one of those "war books," involving children, similar to War Horse by ...more
Gale
May 18, 2013 Gale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
HAUNTED BY ADOLESCENT GUILT

Nina Bawden's 1973 YA story is related with the ring of an authentic WWII memory. One of several books to be inspired by the evacuation of hundreds of London children during the Blitz, Carrie's War appears at first glance to be the experiences of Carrie Willow and her younger brother, Nick, during the long separation from their mother (and father in the Navy). Their wartime odyssey takes them, along with many other evacuees, to a remote mining town in Wales, where the
...more
Sarah
Mar 24, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carrie and her brother Nick are evacuated to Wales during WWII, like many other children during that time. Carrie has meaningful experiences not with her foster home, but with the family of the sister to her foster dad. The story isn't simply a "war story"--it's much more than that. Much of what Carrie experiences with her new "families" cannot be fully understood or explained until she returns to the town as an adult. Carrie tells her children about her wartime experiences: "You don't change, y ...more
Westcoast_girl
Having read several other guests of war books (Guests of War Trilogy: The Sky is Falling / Looking at the Moon / The Lights Go On Again Back Home, The Day They Took The Children), I found this one slightly disappointing. Maybe it's because I'm older. But the story just didn't seem that interesting. There was no flow, and I found myself dropping it then picking it back up far to often. The main characters, Carrie and Nick, weren't that likable and seemed to be lacking a certain realness (for inst ...more
Ali
Sep 25, 2014 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carrie and her younger brother Nick are evacuated to the Welsh Valley's during WW2, sent like parcels to an unknown destination with a label around their neck. They end up living with a brother (Mr Evans) and sister (Aunty Lou), and slowly become entangled in their new family, their personalities and their troubles, as they lose the familiarity with their own biological family. This story explains their experiences through Carrie's eyes.

It is a wonderful book, as it is a thoughtful and adolesce
...more
Francesca Porter
Jun 08, 2014 Francesca Porter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carrie was a child who was evacuated in the war, and she has brought her children back to the town where she lived in that time. The story is Carrie retelling her evacuation story to her children whilst visiting.

Through the story you view her evacuation experiences, with the changing nature of her relationship with the brother and sister who take them in, a mix of pity, anger and love as they are forced into a position uncomfortable to all. You all see the friendship build between Carrie and her
...more
Seonaid
I hadn't read Carrie's War since I was about 11 or 12, but it made a massive impact on me then, and I've been looking forward to reading it again with Izzie.

Carrie and Nick Willow are evacuated from London to a Welsh mining town, where they are lodged with the strictly chapel Mr Evans and his repressed sister, Auntie Lou. More magic is to be found at Druid's Bottom though, with Hepzibah Green, Mister Johnny, Mrs Go-to-bed and the bookish Albert Sandwich. Carrie and Nick end up spending more and
...more
Loraine
May 08, 2014 Loraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely read. Full of history, mystery, and perhaps the magic of a wise woman.

Carrie's War is set in the early days of World War II, when two children are evacuated into the country. In this case, Nick and Carrie are evacuated to Wales and are cared for by a rather interesting family made up of a brother and sister. He is a shopkeeper, rather greedy, deeply religious and a penny-pincher. To boot, he bullies his sister and is not particularly kind to the two youngsters under his care. He is
...more
Michael Burge
This is an intriguing, nostalgic read, and a beloved book for an entire generation. I picked up my copy in an op-shop, before which it was in the library of a local school, and had not been read for a very long time judging by the date stamps inside the back cover.

It reminded me of Susan Cooper's writing, from the same era (1960s and 1970s), engaging and slightly whimsical, less plot driven and more about characters in a time and place. If it had been any longer I might have given up on it, as i
...more
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UEL Primary PGCE ...: Carrie's War 1 3 Sep 22, 2014 02:50AM  
UEL Primary PGCE ...: Review Number Two 1 3 Aug 08, 2014 02:51PM  
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Nina Bawden was a popular British novelist and children's writer. Her mother was a teacher and her father a marine.

When World War II broke out she spent the school holidays at a farm in Shropshire along with her mother and her brothers, but lived in Aberdare, Wales, during term time.
Bawden attended Somerville College, Oxford, where she gained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

Her nove
...more
More about Nina Bawden...

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