Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Sky Is Falling (The Guests of War Trilogy, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Sky Is Falling (The Guests of War Trilogy, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Sky Is Falling

(Guests of War #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  3,476 ratings  ·  112 reviews
It is the summer of 1940, and all of England fears an invasion by Hitler’s army. Norah lies in bed listening to the anxious voices of her parents downstairs. Then Norah is told that she and her brother, Gavin, are being sent to Canada. The voyage across the ocean is exciting, but at the end of it Norah is miserable. The rich woman who takes them in prefers Gavin to her, th ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published February 8th 1991 by Puffin Canada (first published 1989)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Sky Is Falling, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Adele E.michaud No it is fiction , it is based on true events.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,476 ratings  ·  112 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Sky Is Falling (The Guests of War Trilogy, #1)
Jill S
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian, young-adult
Man, this book holds up. Definition of a comfort read for me. I love this story and Kit Pearson's writing. I will never tire of Norah, Gavin, the Ogilvies, and this book. ...more
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This book was difficult to read in parts. I can not imagine being ripped away from my family to live with strangers, in a foreign country no less, let alone at the age of ten. However, I soon came to enjoy following the story, and the climax was so gripping I couldn't put the book down. The resolution didn't really resolve much, and left a large unanswered question that annoyed me, so I'm going to have to read the next in the series soon. ...more
Westward Woess
Aug 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in seventh grade and had a lot of difficulty putting it down. It was one of the best books I'd read at the time and a favorite.
The characters were excellent and developed. It was also really easy to identify with Norah, the main character. Usually I have trouble doing that.
It was also a chance to look at different part of WWII history and of course there were plenty of amazing details about Toronto at the time.
I really love and and recommend this book.
I received this book from a friend when I was 10 - she forgot about my birthday party and didn't show up, but still managed to give me a gift which, in my books #punintended, makes you an A+ person. I had never really read historical fiction before, and was willing to read anything and everything someone put in my hands, so I started reading without hesitation...

And absolutely CONQUERED this book.

This book brought reading to life in a whole new way for me. In this book I discovered my interest i
Jan 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
In the summer of 1940, ten-year-old Norah and her friends spend their days watching the planes fight above their village in Kent. The war has certainly brought excitement to Norah’s life, but all parents see is the danger. Once they decide to send Norah and her five-year-old brother Gavin to Canada until the war ends, Norah realizes that there is no way to persuade them otherwise. While the ship ride from Liverpool to Montreal is full of excitement, the idea of living with strangers in a foreign ...more
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: booksiown, canadian
Read this in Grade Four for a book report. I did not like it because I was reading it for school.

I have read three times since then and got my mom to read to me. She read the rest of the trilogy to me as well and yeah I love it.

This was my first Kit Pearson book and to this day she remains my favourite Canadian author. I have read all her novels and have enjoyed every one of them. I like how she makes the country not this barren cold land, but one that is full of life and people.

Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: series
One of my favorite book series as a young elementary student. I think it was around that time that I became interested in history. "The Sky is Falling" tells the tale of two fictional children, Norah and Gavin, who along with other British children enter and live in Canada during WWII. To me it added another facet to our countries involvement far beyond that of our veterans that we saw on Nov. 11th. ...more
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this! It was so cool to read about the lives of the many children who were sent away to Canada from England to find refuge from the war. Although in Norah ( the main character)'s case, she hated living with the Oglivies. All she wanted to do was go home and many people even called her a wimp from escaping from the "exciting" war. But as the novel goes on she realizes what it means to adapt, to nurture and to start fresh in her new life. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! ...more
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Fabulous nostalgic visit to the book every 9 year old Canadian girl read when I was growing up. This books holds its own as an adult.
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This would have been one of my favorites as a kid - Anne of Green Gables vibes with a touch of melancholy. Onto the next one.
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Except for J.K. Rowling, Kit Pearson was absolutely my favourite author growing up. I first read this series in grade three or so, and probably rocketed through them another dozen times as a kid, along with everything else she ever published. Norah was far and away my favourite heroine, because she was so real, not at all like the flat, perfect characters in other books I'd read. It was okay to have feelings, Norah taught me, and it was okay that they weren't always nice, and yes, it was fine to ...more
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When Norah and Gavin are told they are going on an “adventure”, Norah is outraged and Gavin does not understand what is happening. Norah, aged 10, and Gavin, aged 5, are to be evacuated to a safer location. It is the middle of World War 2 and their parents are worried. Norah and Gavin are sent to Canada where they live with a nice but strict and stubborn family. There journey over is full of surprises and learning experiences. As Norah adjusts to new rules and lifestyles, how will Gavin adjust ...more
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens, book-group
This book was chosen by my colleague for my Mother-Daughter book group and I'm incredibly happy she picked it!

Not only did the mothers love it, but we ended up fighting over who gets to read the next one on their kobo (I won as I had already downloaded it!).

The story is a simple one- Norah and Gavin are children living in Britain whose parents decided to send them to Canada to avoid the bombing of WWII. They are sent to a rich mother and daughter in Toronto and the story is just about Norah adju
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I read this book for a sixth grade assignment, for which I had to make a film strip with sound effects and give a class presentation. I returned to this book more than once when I was young. Though I have not read it for many years, I still remember how vividly if affected me as a child and would recommend it for any young reader.

I also remember how much fun I had working on the film strip sound effects with my father. We did so much with a few low cost items, most of which we already had aroun
Just A. Bean
I liked the main character. She was probably pretty horrible to be around but the author had a good handle on the thought process of a ten year old.

I can't say I found the plot that interesting, for one there wasn't much of a plot, especially in the later half, and what there was didn't have much action. Unfortunate that a book about WWII refugees would be slightly dull. Probably won't bother with the other two.
Mar 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: zf-kids-11-12
Convincing story of two British children sent to Canada for
safety during World War 2. Rebellious Norah does not want to
go, preferring to stay at home and fight the good fight.
She resents taking responsibility for little brother Gavin.
Spirited Norah meets her match in her foster-mother.

Realistically portrays the adjustments a child must make
to a new country, and to growing up.
Mar 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
As a kid, this was my favorite book. Norah and Gavin are two siblings from England. They are growing up in WWll. For their protection, they are sent against their will (especially Norah's) to Canada to live with a host family to keep them safe.
I haven't read this in a while, but I liked it so much as a kid that I just might read it again.
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a surprisingly powerful book. It is one of those books that when I finished it, it was like I'd done something important. It's not the type that I would usually choose, but I am glad to have read it. It's one that I would recommend to just about anyone. It's a fast read because you can't put it down. ...more
Harold Walters
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Yarn for youngsters. WWII evacuated children from England live in Canada.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A book written for children, but also a book that can be enjoyed by adults. A lovely read.
May 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: canadian-history
World View - Secular

Read Aloud 12 yrs+
Independent Reader 14 yrs +

Location - Britain, Toronto, Ontario
Time Period - WWII, 1940, Battle of Britain


This is book one in the War Guests Trilogy. Although it is a highly acclaimed book which contains high quality writing, the questionable moral values conveyed during the story raise concern in regard to the target audience. It seems to be aimed toward grades 5 or 6, however I would suggest that it is far more appropriate for an olde
Kerri (Book Hoarder)
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is another book that I remember well from reading when I was younger...

Did you know that during World War II, many children were sent overseas by their parents, to be away from the perils and emotional stress of war?

The Sky Is Falling tells the story of two such children - ten year old Norah and five year old Gavin, who feel as though they only have each other when they are sent across the ocean to live with Ogilvies, a host family who are willing to take them on.

The last thing that Nora
Melissa W
May 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
I first read this book when I was about 12 or 13 and read it again when I was in my mid-twenties and enjoyed it both times, although my second time reading it has left more of an impression. While it is a story of two siblings leaving home as a result of WWII, it is also a story of a young girl who is about 11 or 12 being forced to grow up beyond what she wants and expects. While Norah is rebellious, she is only so due to the fact that her hosts, especially the mother, pays little attention to h ...more
Jan 08, 2009 rated it liked it
This is the first book I've been asked to read for my Children's Literature class. And while this novel may deserve more than the three stars I've given it, but I will leave it up to someone else to do. This book has a few hallmarks I have known to be successful with kids who are and are not me: Kids on their own (Norah and her brother are not orphaned, but they are sent to Canada alone - and what kid doesn't love to dream of independence?), a quirky and not-femme main female character (Norah pr ...more
Miss Amanda
gr 4-6 248pgs

1940 Ringden, England. 10 year old Norah and her 5 year old brother Gavin are forced to leave their tiny village because their parents want them to go to Canada where they will be safe from the war. Norah is furious with her parents for sending her and Gavin is too young to understand. When they arrive in Canada, they are sent to live with Mrs. Ogilive and her adult daughter Mary. Mrs. Ogilive spoils Gavin who reminds her of her son Hugh who died in WWI, while Norah feels that all M
Mar 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
gr 4-6 248pgs

1940 Ringden, England. 10 year old Norah and her 5 year old brother Gavin are forced to leave their tiny village because their parents want them to go to Canada where they will be safe from the war. Norah is furious with her parents for sending her and Gavin is too young to understand. When they arrive in Canada, they are sent to live with Mrs. Ogilive and her adult daughter Mary. Mrs. Ogilive spoils Gavin who reminds her of her son Hugh who died in WWI, while Norah feels that all M
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-the-book
This book has been on my shelf since my Grannie gifted it to me Christmas 1998 <3 Love you Grannie! The book was about Norah and her little brother Gavin evacuating England and coming to Toronto Canada to live with a family of strangers. There's many Toronto call outs, like Union Station, The Royal York Hotel, Young street, etc which made me feel patriotic. The way the Canada dealt with helping Britain out with the war made me feel so proud to be Canadian. How they rescued around 15,000 children ...more
Books Kids Like
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Norah Stoakes feels safe as she and her friends watch the skies for German planes near her home in England, but her parents feel differently. They decide to send Norah and her brother, Gavin, to Toronto, Canada, for the duration of the war. Mrs. Florence Ogilvie, a rich widow, and her daughter, Mary, agree to become their guardians. Five year-old Gavin quickly takes the place of Aunt Florence’s dead son, Hugh, as she lavishes him with gifts and affection. Norah feels so home-sick that she aliena ...more
Feb 18, 2009 rated it liked it
I read this when I was younger and really enjoyed it. Reading it again, I wished for more wrap up in the story line. But I guess a good YA book ends with a beginning. This time around I was at times frustrated with how Norah acted toward the people who were trying to help her and was annoyed that she couldn't change her attitude a little bit because it would have made her life so much easier! I definitely recommend this read for a young person. I think it's a light glimpse into the life of a chi ...more
Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone that likes historical fiction.
Ah!!!! I just LOVED this book, I have to say that this is one of my favourite historical fiction books ever!! And the fact that this is a Canadian book doesn't hurt either! The writing is so poetic and beautiful,I guarantee that almost everyone will love this one! It should be a classic ( at least for Canadians)!!!

I can't say enough good things about this novel!

5/5 stars!

P.S I read this novel during the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver in 2010, giving me many happy memories.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Hollow Tree
  • Underground to Canada
  • I Am David
  • Victoria: May Blossom of Britannia, England, 1829
  • Broken Strings
  • The Root Cellar
  • Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess, Russia, 1914
  • Jahanara: Princess of Princesses, India, 1627
  • Eleanor: Crown Jewel of Aquitaine, France, 1136
  • Elizabeth I: Red Rose of the House of Tudor, England, 1544
  • Mortimer
  • Vampires of Ottawa (The Tom and Liz Austen Mysteries, #6)
  • Cleopatra VII: Daughter of the Nile - 57 B.C.
  • Isabel: Jewel of Castilla, Spain, 1466
  • Kaiulani: The People's Princess, Hawaii, 1889
  • Catherine, Called Birdy
  • Just Like That
  • The Secret World of Og
See similar books…
Kit Pearson spent her childhood between Edmonton Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia. As a high-school student, she returned to Vancouver to be educated at Crofton House School. She obtained a degree in English Literature at the University of Alberta, and spent several years following the degree doing odd jobs or travelling in Europe.
In 1975, she began her Library degree at the University of B

Other books in the series

Guests of War (3 books)
  • Looking At The Moon (The Guests of War Trilogy, #2)
  • The Lights Go On Again (The Guests of War Trilogy, #3)

Related Articles

If you're a fan of the mystery and thriller genre and young adult books, recent months have brought a bevy of great reads to your shelves! We...
135 likes · 21 comments