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The Girls They Left Behind

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  92 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Like any teenager, Natalie wants to have fun. But it's 1944, and almost all the boys she knows have signed up and are being shipped overseas to fight the war in Europe. Too often she takes the trip to Union Station to wave goodbye to another friend, wondering if he'll ever come home again. And like her other girlfriends, Natalie is getting tired of waiting for the war to b ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 7th 2005 by Fitzhenry & Whiteside (first published 2005)
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I was first introduced to Bernice Thurman Hunter’s books in elementary school with her trilogy about a young girl growing up in Toronto during the Great Depression. “Booky” instantly became one of my favourite books. However it wasn’t until recently that I came across The Girls They Left Behind after all these years. While I do plan to purchase a copy for my own at some point, I couldn’t wait to read it especially after I saw it on the shelf at my local library.

In The Girls They Left Behind, Nat
Sep 20, 2015 Naya rated it really liked it
I felt as though the romance in this book was forced. Beryl jumped from man to man, whimsically deciding each morning who she'd fall in love with today, or so it seemed, at least. The character's personal growth throughout the book was only affected by one of the boys in the book-- her cousin, Carmen-- but the on-and-off boyfriends vaguely annoyed me.
I understand that Bernice Thurman Hunter herself could not finish writing the book, and her daughter took over once she passed away, thus creating
Alex Baugh
Apr 12, 2012 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-2
This is a novel that was recommended to me by my Goodreads friend Emily. And I am so glad she did. Thanks, Emily.

The Girls They Left Behind opens in June 1943 in Toronto, Canada. Beryl Brigham, 16, had decided two things: to get a summer job and to change her name to Natalie. But first she must attend her best friends wedding. Eloise is marrying her high school sweetheart just before he ships out to the war in Europe. In fact, all the boys are enlisting and shipping out, and it seems like the gi
Cynthia Hill
Jun 01, 2012 Cynthia Hill rated it really liked it
I love Bernice Thurman Hunter's books. Her description of the Toronto of the 30s and 40s is fascinating, and her characters are always upbeat and compelling. Yes, they are books meant for young readers, but I get so much more from them as an adult.

The main character, Beryl (who is trying to convince everyone to call her Natalie instead) is one of the girls left on the homefront. She ends up doing "war work" in a factory, and watching more and more of the boys go off to war - including her someti
Aug 22, 2007 Jennie rated it liked it
Beryl/Natalie is a teenager in Toronto during the World War II. It's mostly written in diary form, but with a few-stand alone scenes scattered throughout--mostly towards the end of the book. The story deals with the feelings of always been left behind as she sees one more friend, relative, or neighbor off at the train station nearly every night--some of whom she will never see again. She drops out of school to work in an airplane factory and tries to go on with life, despite rations, black-outs, ...more
Sep 23, 2012 Joyce rated it liked it
Well, actually I'd give it a 31/2, but I can't seem to do that. This books is really interesting, the voice is authentic and refreshing, which makes sense because the author--well-known, often read in intermediate grades I think, is writing about something she lived through. The perspective is one I hadn't read about, important addition to the record! don't think it's written about much. But I also just read two really fast-paced, fun books, and this isn't either. I do like it though, and want i ...more
Feb 03, 2010 Laura rated it liked it
The author drew on her own experiences as a teen during World War II to write this story of what it felt like to be one of "the girls left behind." Mrs. Hunter succeeds in creating a feeling of immediacy for the reader.
Stephanie A.
It was nice to see WWII from a different country's perspective. It's not that different from the U.S., but still an interesting idea.
Mar 01, 2015 Dania rated it it was amazing
Yes-- this is the book to read if you're looking to acquaint yourself with the wartime era.
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She was born in Toronto, Ontario, on November 3, 1922 and died May 29, 2002. She married her high school sweetheart, Lloyd Hunter, and had two children, Anita and Heather, and four grandchildren, Meredith, Lisa, Hunter and Franceline. No Greats.

Bernice was the middle child of 5 children (Wilma, Gordon, Bernice, Jack and Robert). She struggled in school because they moved so often. The Booky Tril
More about Bernice Thurman Hunter...

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