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The Runaway Children

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,625 ratings  ·  195 reviews
A heart-wrenching, unforgettable story of two evacuee sisters during the Second World War… Perfect for fans of Orphan Train, Nadine Dorries and Diney Costeloe.

London, 1942: Thirteen-year-old Nell and five-year-old Olive are being sent away from the devastation of the East End. They are leaving the terror of the Blitz and nights spent shivering in air raid shelters behind
Kindle Edition, 365 pages
Published December 8th 2017 by Bookouture
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Paula Janssen In my opinion it is not a book for children, it is a lovely well written story that I really enjoyed. A teenager/young adult may enjoy it also .

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4.25  · 
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 ·  1,625 ratings  ·  195 reviews

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Lindsay - Traveling Sister
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars! My heart is overflowing with love for the characters in this unforgettable story.

This novel follows evacuee sisters, thirteen-year-old Nell and five-year-old Olive, as they flee the war-torn East End of London during WWII to reach the ‘safety’ of the countryside. There, families open their homes to evacuee children, providing them shelter and nourishment until they can safely be sent back to their homes and families.

Leaving their family home, Nell quickly assumes the role of mother t
Angela M
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it

The war, the blitz, the fear and worry of parents that you will lose your children to a bomb and the desire to keep them safe even if it means sending them away . This was the reality that led to the evacuation of many children from London in the early 1940’s. The story, harrowing at times, brought to life by two characters I couldn’t help but love. Thirteen year old Nell has to grow up quickly as she evacuates with her
five year old sister Olive from London. They first go to the Welsh countrysi
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I absolutely loved The Runaway Children by Sandy Taylor. It was a charming book with wonderful characters. Two sisters were evacuated from London in 1942 to the Welsh countryside and have to leave their mother and brothers behind. The story is very emotional and uplifting. This is the first book from this author that I have read and I will certainly be reading more of her work. I would like to thank NetGalley and Bookouture for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
War -1942 - Sirens and bombings make for volatile times in London, and the Patterson children have just been evacuated by train to the country.

Scared and distressed over being forced to leave home to live with strangers, 13 year old Nell steps up and takes charge of 5 year old Olive knowing she must protect and keep her safe at all costs. The girls experience numerous unexpected kindnesses, but all is not easy as they encounter scary, dangerous types as well.

A funny little Olive (with the help

[Shai] Bibliophage
The Runaway Children is a riveting, poignant and inspiring fiction novel about the Patterson family — emphasizing on the story of Nell and Olive's remarkable story. The story was set during the World War II; it narrates how the Patterson siblings from East End was able to endure being refugee kids, and on how they showed courage and still hopeful amidst some of the trials they have encountered.

Nell and Olive's personalities are to easy to like because they are both charming; Nell is a strong o
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the fourth book I’ve read by Sandy Taylor. Having absolutely loved The Brighton Girls Trilogy, I felt rather sad when it came to an end. How on earth was I going to cope without another book in the trilogy to look forward to? So, when I found out about The Runaway Children, I was dying to read it! What can I say? Oh my goodness, she’s done it again, as I’ve fallen in love with this book and a whole new set of adorable characters within its pages.

This is a book of mixed emotions. Set duri
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is filled with humor, sadness, triumph and love. It's a wonderful story. The author's writing style was inviting and easy to read. Character development was so realistic I felt like I knew some of the people in the book.

An entrancing story set against the backdrop of World War II. Due to the frequent bombings in London, 13-year-old Nell and 5-year-old Olive are evacuated to the countryside where they are taken in by a vicar and his wife. The mother and her two sons remained in London i
Louise Wilson
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's London, 1942. Thirteen year old Nell and five year old Olive are being sent away from the devastation of the East End. The sisters struggle to a just to life as an evacuees. Nell misses her mother and brothers more than anything but has to stay strong for Olive. When Olives safety is threatened by a boy on the farm, Nell has to make a decision. They must run from danger and try and find their way home.

The story is told by the child's point of view. The characters are built up slowly and it
London and the home she’d known all her life was a frightening place to thirteen-year-old Nell – it was 1942 and the Germans bombed London constantly. Many children were being evacuated to the country for safety. When the time came for Nell and her five-year-old sister Olive to leave, the sadness at leaving their Mum, baby brother Freddie and brother Tony was heartbreaking.

Nell and Olive’s arrival in Wales found them staying with a couple in the vicarage – they found happiness, contentment and
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a very fine book about a family living in an East End London tenement building during the Second World War. As the book begins, the eldest daughter Nell is outside on the cold stoop attending to her precocious five year old sister Olive and middle brother Tony. She is trying to occupy them while their mother is upstairs giving birth. Their father is serving in the War and is missing. For the modest living conditions and the bleak situation, there are loving and supportive neighbors in th ...more
It’s 1942 and Britain is in the midst of World War II. Nell Patterson, thirteen years old and her little sister Olive, five, must leave their home in Bermondsey, London and be evacuated to the country to escape the air raids. Neither of the girls has ever been away from home before; Bermondsey is all they’ve ever known and they're reluctant to leave their loving mother.

Much to their surprise, the girls love their new home in the village of Glengaryth, Wales. Both are met with kindness by their f
Louise Wilson
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's London 1942. Thirteen year old Nell and and five year old Olive are being sent away from the devastation of the East End. The sisters struggle to a just to life as evacuees. Nell misses her mother and brothers more than anything but has to stay strong for Olive. When Olives safety is threatened by a boy on the farm , Nell has to make a decision. They must run from danger and try and find their way home.

The story is told from the child's point of view. The characters are built up slowly and
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
THE RUNAWAY CHILDREN is narrated by Nell and although she is 13 at the start the story spans 4 years and both she, and her sister have to do a lot of growing up fast. Being the eldest child Nell has a huge amount of responsibility taking care of her younger brother and sister. However, when a new baby arrives Nell realises that worrying about four children is detrimental to her mum’s health so agrees to be evacuated to the country. Her brother refuses to go and runs off just as the train is leav ...more
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For reasons I can’t explain, the World War II era always fascinates me so when this novel popped up on my radar, I couldn’t resist its lure. This story centres around children being evacuated during the war and I can’t even begin to imagine what that was like. Not for the parents who felt this was the only option to keep their children safe, nor for the children who were forced to leave everything and everyone they knew and loved behind to go off and live with strangers on the other side of the ...more
Renita D'Silva
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adore this author. She has a way of transporting you to the world of her stories and the lives of her characters - books like hers are why I read. This was a beautiful book - the author's prose is to die for. And this tale - wow! Original and stunning. I was invested in the lives of the characters, I lived out their dramas and came away changed in some small, meaningful way. This is a stunningly written masterpiece of a book that I will be thinking of for a long time. Loved it. High ...more
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness what an absolutely fantastic story this was . I absolutely loved it . 13 year old Nell and her 5 year old sister are evacuated from East End London in 1942 and sent to Wales . They leave behind their mother and two brother . This book tells the story of the two girls and how after a bad experience they make the decision to return to their family in London making their way in their own from Wales. This is an absolutely wonderful story that had me laughing in places and next thing I ...more
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
What an absolutely fabulous book this is.

I have to start with Olive from the book. What an adorable and wonderful character. There is such a lovely innocence about her and she brings a certain amount of humour into the story. I absolutely loved the relationship between her and Nell, it truly was so lovely to read and my heart just melts even now just thinking about it.

Nell is yet another fabulous character. Having to grow up quickly whilst being a mother as well as a sister to Olive. I couldn’t
Sue Seligman
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed my second read on my new Kindle Paperwhite. This story of families affected by the horrors of the London Blitz was riveting and emotional. Thirteen year old Nell and her five year old sister, Olive, are evacuated to the countryside of Wales because their mother feared for their safety during the bombing of the city of London. The girls’ brother Tony was supposed to go with the, but at the last minute he jumped off the train and went back to take care of his mother who had recently give ...more
Joanna Park
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog-tours, netgalley
The thing that most stands out about this book is the child narrator that helps add an element of innocence to a difficult situation and gives the reader a different slant on the events of world war two.  The book is narrated by Nell, the oldest of four siblings with an attitude older than her years.  She is very much used to looking after her brothers and sister and often takes on the mother role when her mother is incapacitated.  She particularly looks after her younger sister Olive and their ...more
Deanne Patterson
I was unable to stop reading this book, it's gripping,mesmerizing and will leave you feeling many emotions throughout it! It was heartbreaking and heartwarming and when all sense of hope was lost it was found. Portrays streetwise children in London who must be evacuated for their safety during the early 1940's. This is a keeper!
Pub Date 08 Dec 2017
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
A very enjoyable read with the storyline set in WW2. Sandy Taylor is a new to me author and I will definitely be looking at reading more.

Nell and Olive are now living in Wales after being evacuated from London. During WW2 many children in the UK were evacuated from bomb torn cities into the country. Parents had their children evacuated because they believed that they would be safe away from the bombing. However, many children went to terrible homes where they were exploited and used as free chil
Thank you to Netgalley, the Author and the Publisher for this review copy, given in exchange for an honest review. Also thank you to Kim from Bookouture for organising the Blog Tour!

This was my first Sandy Taylor book and I’m ashamed to admit it!! I like books set during the war, so why I haven’t read more by this author, I don’t know! The story is based around a Bermondsey family at the height of the London Blitz. Nell is the oldest of the children, although is nearly a young woman herself. She
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This deeply touching story gives us a glimpse of the perspective of Olive and Nell as they adapt to life as evacuees during the devastation of the Second World War.

In among the hardships, ration books, bombings, plane crashes and unspeakable acts, I learn I have things in common with these sisters.

We share the love of the same books.

I also saw the beauty they saw as well as recognized their horror. Horror in what they overcame and beauty in their expression of love in a prayer over men they did
Suze Lavender
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's 1942 and life in Bermondsey in London is becoming more and more dangerous. That is why thirteen-year-old Nell and her five-year-old sister Olive are being evacuated. They end up in Wales. Living in the countryside is a new experience, something they have to get used to. Being taken in by kind people isn't a given, will Nell and Olive be lucky enough to find loving people to look after them while they are far away from their family?

Initially things seem to be going well for Olive and Nell, b
Donna Maguire

I am currently reading a lot of historical fiction books so I was delighted when this book arrived on my Kindle!

I have really enjoyed this authors previous books and was delighted that this one was written with the same high standards and excellent attention to details.  You really do feel as though you are with them in the period as you read their story.  The characters were well rounded and I really enjoyed learning more about them and watching them deve
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The is another beautifully written story from Sandy Taylor. I absolutely love it. I didn’t want it to end. She is very good at writing stories that tug at your heart strings.
The story begins with 13-year-old Nell and 5-year-old sister Olive it’s 1942 they are both being evacuated from Bermondsey, from her mother and brothers Tommy and her baby brother Frankie. Her Father has gone to war. To the small village of Glengaryth in Wales. Where they meet the Vicar Dylan and his wife Beth and they take
Kaisha (The Writing Garnet)
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
All reviews can be found on my blog at

Wow. I struggled to read this book, I’m not going to lie. No, I don’t mean that I struggled to read it because of how it was written, or that I struggled reading it due to any other negative reason. Not at all. I struggled reading ‘The Runaway Children’ because of how emotive and poignant the storyline was. We are taught at school about how things were during the war and, whilst those pieces of information are still qui
Sue McQuaide Kitt
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
OMW.... This book was simply beautiful, from the writing to the lovely characters, emotional and feel good at the same time. A real page turner.

Thirteen-year-old Nell and five-year-old Olive are evacuated to the Welsh countryside from the devastation of the East End in 1942.

This book seemed to have it all, family loyalty, friendship, love, sadness and beautiful and realistic characters, especially the adorable and funny Olive and I will miss these children.

Very highly recommended.
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