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While the Bombs Fell
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While the Bombs Fell

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  24 reviews
What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War 2?
Elsie and her family live in a small double-storey cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signalling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid sh
Kindle Edition
Published August 21st 2018 by TSL Publications
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3.96  · 
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While the Bombs Fell is a collection of memoirs written jointly by Robbie Cheadle and her mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton. While some of the tales might be fictionalized, everything is based on memories and history experienced by Elsie during the 1940s WWII bombing of England by the Germans. What a wonderful way to conclude my July month of [mostly] autobiographical and non-fiction works.

Elsie was born shortly before the war began but knew only a life about rations, ducking for cover, and living witho
Jennifer S. Alderson
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii, children-s-book
What a lovely, poignant book! It's the only one I've read that describes what life was like for very young children growing up during World War Two. There is also quite a bit of English history included, which I found quite interesting. The wartime recipes are a nice touch.
It's told from the perspective of a girl aged 4-6 years old, and focuses mainly on the daily life of kids living through horrendous times, without truly understanding what was going on in the adult world. Many of the stories
Darlene Foster
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely memoir written by a mother and daughter team about a young girl living in the UK during WWII. Elsie is very little during the war but can't help feel the fear and anxiety of her parents, siblings and neighbours. What I found interesting is that in spite of the threat of invasion, bombs falling on homes, air raid shelters, and food shortages, everyday life carried on. The cows were still milked, children attended school, went swimming and to the movies, neighbours met for tea, Christmas ...more
D.L. Finn
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
“While the Bombs Fell” is told through the eyes of a young girl in England during WWII. From food rations to bombs falling, it was a fascinating look into war from a child’s eyes. It was written much like a journal or someone retelling their memories—which it was. I was drawn into what it would be like to live through this period via Elise’s descriptions. Between supplementing their food with a garden, going into the bomb shelter during raids, or the children finding ways to entertain themselves ...more
Stevie Turner
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was immediately interested in reading this book, as I've lived in Suffolk for nearly 30 years, and not too far from Bungay. I heard lots of wartime stories from my mother who lived in London during the war, but this book was different in that the main character, a child called Elsie, lives in the countryside. Ms Cheadle has written anecdotes gleaned from family and friends over the years, and has written quite a charming faction book.
Elsie tells of what it was like to live not only through the
Jacqueline Beard
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Little Elsie grew up in a family of nine in rural East Anglia. Her life in the small town of Bungay was perfectly normal, except for the consequences of the second world war. Elsie learned to respond to air raid sirens, understand the importance of gas masks and live with the effects of rationing. Through all this, she remained cheerful and innocent.

‘While the Bombs Fell’ is a collection of memoirs giving a child’s eye view of what it is like to be young in the middle of the War. From bathing by
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story of life behind war zones.

Elsie is born in England during a tumultuous period in history- WWII. Her family must learn to live on rations, restricted power, blackout posters, and food stamps while still providing milk to the nearby village.

Elsie understands the threat of war. The fear of German bombers is a backdrop to an everyday life without extras, but the family still manages to enjoy simple pleasures such as summer swims, afternoon tea, and on special occasions small gifts and treat
Ellington Norris
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
What is this book? Its something I asked myself around Chapter 2 when reading "When the Bombs Fell." I opened it up with no background and no expectations, reading it cold with no idea what I was going to get. What I got was something that was a cross between a biography and a collection of short stories set in the background of WWII in England.

Having no connection to that era or location myself, it was an interesting snapshot of the time--the food, the clothes, the family life, the activities.
Laura Libricz
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I'd give this 3.5 stars for the fact that I believe it's a biography even though it's not catagorized as a memoir or biography. While the Bombs fell is a sweet collection of anecdotes, much like what a grandparent would tell to a grandchild. They are the remembrances of a childhood lived in England during WWII. It was a tough childhood and a collection of stories such as these is important to record while the last of this generation is still with us.

The chapters read as if someone is telling us
Eunice Nascimento
While The Bombs Fell is a well written book about growing up in England during World War II. It’s brimming with great appreciation for the simple things in life that we take for granted these days, such as, eating bread and butter and getting a new dress. The accounts about families spending time together enjoying songs brought a smile to my face. It was impossible not to be in awe of the hard work and patriotism of the men, women and children so vividly depicted in this novel.

If you enjoy remi
Sandra McKenna
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great short read.

Set in Suffolk during World War 2, this true story is told through the eyes of young Elsie. She and her family live on a dairy farm on the outskirts of Bungay.
It tells of the hardships they endured during this time, but they were a happy family who made the most of life regardless of the shortages and restrictions.
It is well written and researched.
Victoria Zigler
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a charming book, which gives great insight in to what life was like for some growing up during WWII. The recipes at the end were a nice addition too.
Tia Lee
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
When the Bombs Fell is a World War II book about Elise a little girl growing up in the country side of England. The book is told in snippets of her life. The snippets are categorized by the titles in each chapter. For instance: Swimming and Fishing, An Introduction into School, and Rabbit Stew and Christmas Pudding were just a few. I didn’t realize this book was autobiographical until I got to the chapter with the pictures from the story which was a surprising delight. It’s nice to make the conn ...more
Janice Spina
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting compilation of memories of a young girl during wartime in Britain. The author relays her mother, Elsie’s memoirs of what transpired in her day-to-day life growing up during WWll.

We see life through the eyes of Elsie who didn’t know what was going on around her with the war because of her young age. All she knew was she was cold and hungry and loved to have some sweets at Christmas time. She remembers the fun she had with her siblings and curling up in bed together on cold nights
S.J. Lea
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
“While the Bombs Fell” is the fictionalised memoir of a young child in Suffolk – in the east of England – during WWII, in the period 1940-1944. As such, there are many interesting details about the hardships and intermittent pleasures of life in the 1940s – some of these are not a direct feature of the war, but they do paint a picture of how basic existence could be in this relatively modern era, giving us a useful reminder of how life was not so very long ago; the struggle to get food and cook, ...more
Colin Garrow
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Growing up in rural Suffolk during World War Two, Elsie and her family live their lives amid the rumble of German bomber planes and the whine of air-raid sirens. But daily life must continue, and the children and their parents make the most of restricted amenities during wartime.

Along with Elsie Hancy Eaton (whose life inspired the book), Robbie Cheadle has produced an interesting and heart-warming tale about a wartime family and the ups and downs of everyday life as they strive to cope with th
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
While WWII raged in England and the men left home and battled enemy forces, the bombs fell and the women and children left behind took care of the business of living. We rarely get the inside story of what it was like for the mothers and daughters; grandmothers and aunts and sisters, who had to find a way to get enough food on the table to survive, to stay warm during those cold winters with no fuel for the furnace or fireplace, to walk to the privy in cow dung and ice. Robbie Cheadle writes the ...more
Ritu Bhathal
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've always liked wartime stories, and usually, they are fictional accounts and family sagas, but rarely from the view of a child.
Robbie has taken the accounts of wartime life from her mother, and alongside her, used the anecdotes to write a book about what life during the war was like, from Elsie's 3-6-year-old perspective.
Not really a story, more a memoir, mother and daughter have weaved the tales together to create a wonderful, simply written account from Elsie's memories.
It was great to read
Dionne Abouelela
Oct 13, 2018 rated it liked it
While the Bombs Fell explores the life of a child during WWII through various anecdotes. Seeing the war through the eyes of a child is always an interesting experience, especially when it deals with how adult figures try to normalize the experience for the sake of their children. I found the different stories to be sweet, but for me, the overall reading felt like a collection of shorts instead of a continuous book.
Overall a nice take on a genre I am always intrigued to read.
D.G. Kaye
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a collaboration between author Robbie Cheadle and her mother Elsie Eaton, as Cheadle expresses her mother's wartime memories written through the eyes of a young Elsie.

I would say that the writing style and voice here is more geared toward a younger audience - older children as well as adults, who may want to learn what it was like in wartime for a child growing up with the uncertainty of siren warnings, sharing beds, toys and clothing with siblings, and their playtime amusements tak
Gareth Griffith
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This autobiographical book, co-authored by a mother and daughter team and told in brief anecdotal chapters, offers young readers a vivid window into the world of wartime Britain, as seen through the eyes of Elsie, a small girl of 4 to 6 years of age. Elsie and her siblings live in Suffolk, in a village called Bungay. Their father runs a dairy which is attached to the house; their mother runs everything else, cooking, cleaning, washing and the rest. It is a world far removed from modern appliance ...more
Geoff Le
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable read

Knowing Bungay and having parents who lived through the war and told similar tales - they were older than Elsie - this has many echoes of that extraordinary time.
May 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
I purchased this book, one of a few wartime books for children for classroom work I was doing. There was no preview, which probably should have told me something but the reviews were glowing. But maybe these people read a different book or are known to the author, which would make me wonder about their work, because the book I read was disjointed, all over the place and very poorly written. It was characterized by the fact there was no story arc whatsoever, just a collection of facts about the ‘ ...more
Rachel Sinclair
This is a warm hearted, gentle collection of autobiographical memories of a very young girl's childhood in England during WWII. It has a tone and sensibility that is similar to Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books, and would be particularly well suited to younger children. Do not be put off by the unfortunately misleading title, there is no violence, and in fact very few references to war at all.
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Robbie, short for Roberta, is an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with her son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about her mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk d ...more