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Eleven-year-old Joyce and her little sister hide in their bomb shelter during the German Blitz on London, during World War II. After nights of bombing, it’s decided that they’ll join the over 800,000 children who’ve already been evacuated during Operation Pied Piper. They board a train not knowing where they’re going or who will take them in. The long, crowded train ride is Eleven-year-old Joyce and her little sister hide in their bomb shelter during the German Blitz on London, during World War II. After nights of bombing, it’s decided that they’ll join the over 800,000 children who’ve already been evacuated during Operation Pied Piper. They board a train not knowing where they’re going or who will take them in. The long, crowded train ride is less than pleasant. Thankfully they make two allies, Sam and Molly. Upon arriving in Leek, the evacuees are herded off the train and paraded down the street like sheep. Joyce and her sister are terrified they won’t be chosen. Eventually, a family welcomes them. As they adjust to all the changes, they find the people of Leek aren’t so accepting to all the evacuees. Sam’s host is dark and abusive. As the girls help plan his escape, they discover this sleepy little community holds a dark secret...


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Eleven-year-old Joyce and her little sister hide in their bomb shelter during the German Blitz on London, during World War II. After nights of bombing, it’s decided that they’ll join the over 800,000 children who’ve already been evacuated during Operation Pied Piper. They board a train not knowing where they’re going or who will take them in. The long, crowded train ride is Eleven-year-old Joyce and her little sister hide in their bomb shelter during the German Blitz on London, during World War II. After nights of bombing, it’s decided that they’ll join the over 800,000 children who’ve already been evacuated during Operation Pied Piper. They board a train not knowing where they’re going or who will take them in. The long, crowded train ride is less than pleasant. Thankfully they make two allies, Sam and Molly. Upon arriving in Leek, the evacuees are herded off the train and paraded down the street like sheep. Joyce and her sister are terrified they won’t be chosen. Eventually, a family welcomes them. As they adjust to all the changes, they find the people of Leek aren’t so accepting to all the evacuees. Sam’s host is dark and abusive. As the girls help plan his escape, they discover this sleepy little community holds a dark secret...

30 review for Keep Calm and Carry On, Children

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bev Walkling

    Many thanks to #NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for allowing me to read an advance copy of Keep Calm & Carry On, Children which is due to be published on September 5th 2019. What follows is my honest review. I was very pleased to be able to read and review this book which focuses on telling the story of how children dealt with the Blitz in London during World War Two. The cover art caught my eye initially but the narrative itself drew me in and kept me reading. The story itself was inspired by t Many thanks to #NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for allowing me to read an advance copy of Keep Calm & Carry On, Children which is due to be published on September 5th 2019. What follows is my honest review. I was very pleased to be able to read and review this book which focuses on telling the story of how children dealt with the Blitz in London during World War Two. The cover art caught my eye initially but the narrative itself drew me in and kept me reading. The story itself was inspired by the experiences of the author’s grandfather whose parents took in two young evacuees from London during the war. The story begins in September 1940 with the whirring sound of bombs falling. The author used this sound quite effectively to let the reader know that bombing is underway. The voice the reader hears is that of Joyce, an eleven year old girl who lives in one of the poorer parts of London. There is an immediacy to what she describes that made me better understand what it must have felt like to be in the midst of a bombing attack. The publishers describe this book as being a part of their Young Adult Fiction. I can see how it would work very well when teaching about history of war and could help pupils understand better what it might be like for young people currently living in parts of the world where bombing attacks are all too common. Over a fairly short time period, the situation in London deteriorates to the point that Joyce’s parents make the difficult decision to send Joyce and her younger sister Gina away from London to a safer spot in the country. This had to have been made even harder by the fact that they had no idea exactly where their children were being sent or who would care for them. They had a list of supplies they were to bring with them and some of the supplies listed were things they didn’t even own. The train ride to their new temporary home must have been terrifying for the children and the author captured this well in her writing. Joyce and Gina make some new friends en route and finagle things so that they all end up getting off the train at the same spot where they are paraded in front of the townspeople hoping they will be picked by nice people and that siblings will be able to stay together. As I read the book it reminded me in part of the many Enid Blyton books that I read and enjoyed as a youngster (some of which I have re-read in recent years). The children form friendships, have adventures together including a “mystery”, get into trouble together and support each other through it. I felt I was learning a lot about the times and how different life was for those coming from London versus children the same age who lived in better circumstances further from the wartime actions. Joyce and her sister for example had never owned toothbrushes because their parents felt they were not needed until after the adult teeth were all in! Despite their different backgrounds, the children worked well together and really bonded with each other. As the story ended the author finished with the line “The End of the Beginning”. This makes me wonder if there will be more stories About Joyce, Gina and their friends. If there are, I would definitely be interested in reading them. I did find a few mistakes in the advance copy, but hopefully they can be corrected before publication. I certainly enjoyed this “Young Adult Fiction” even from my perspective as an almost senior citizen. If you are interested in knowing how children experienced the war or what life was like in rural Britain in the forties you should enjoy this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Sisters Joyce and Gina, forced to evacuate London amidst nightly German air raids, make friends on the train who will end up in the same village. One of these friends ends up in the home of a bad man, and the sisters and friend Molly determine to find a way to rescue him. In the midst of doing so, they uncover some illegal activity in the village. The story's rather abrupt ending sets the book up for at least one future installment. The story appears to be written at a 4th grade level for the mo Sisters Joyce and Gina, forced to evacuate London amidst nightly German air raids, make friends on the train who will end up in the same village. One of these friends ends up in the home of a bad man, and the sisters and friend Molly determine to find a way to rescue him. In the midst of doing so, they uncover some illegal activity in the village. The story's rather abrupt ending sets the book up for at least one future installment. The story appears to be written at a 4th grade level for the most part. Narrator Joyce is a little older, but many 4th graders enjoy reading stories with slightly older protagonists. It lacks the impact of other books dealing with the evacuation such as Good Night, Mr. Tom. I received an electronic copy through LibraryThing Early Reviewers with the expectation of an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alex Baugh

    It's September 7, 1940 and the sound of the air raid sirens has just begun throughout London. For Joyce Munsey, 11, and her younger sister Gina, 6, that means getting out of their beds and heading out to the backyard and the makeshift, shelter that their dad had dug there, as bombs begin to fall. By September 10th, after witnessing the destruction the bombs had brought into their lives and neighborhood, and after the loss of two neighbors, Joyce's parent decide it time for their daughters to joi It's September 7, 1940 and the sound of the air raid sirens has just begun throughout London. For Joyce Munsey, 11, and her younger sister Gina, 6, that means getting out of their beds and heading out to the backyard and the makeshift, shelter that their dad had dug there, as bombs begin to fall. By September 10th, after witnessing the destruction the bombs had brought into their lives and neighborhood, and after the loss of two neighbors, Joyce's parent decide it time for their daughters to join the next trainload of school children being evacuated to the countryside. On September 11, 1940, Joyce and Gina, unable to even wash up after the previous night's bombing, board a train at Euston Station heading who knows where with a number of other children. On the journey, the two sisters meet Sam Purdy, 11, and Molly Neal, 12, and after hours and hours of riding, the four of them disembark in a place called Leek. As people look over the evacuees, Sam is chosen quickly by an elderly man who claims to need someone who can help him now that his boys are away fighting. Molly is next, chosen by an elderly lady who likes her humor and cheekiness. And just as Joyce and Gina begin getting worried they would be left behind, a woman and her daughter Phyllis Woods, 10, decide to take in the sisters. Joyce and Gina's placement works out very nicely, and Phyllis proves to be an instant friend. After a few days, they decide to call on Sam and Molly, to see if they can come out and play for a while. But when they find out he is living with a Mr. Badderly, Phyllis recognizes the name and tells Joyce he isn't a very nice person. Sure enough, he has Sam working hard in his victory garden and won't let him leave until Joyce, Phyllis, and later Molly help Sam finish his chores. When they finally get away from Mr. Badderly, Sam tells them how badly he is being treated, even forced to sleep in the cellar. But when Sam, Molly, Joyce, and Phyllis discover a hut full of items that are now being rationed, they realize these are things being sold on the black market. I think no one will be surprised to discover who the ringleader of the black marketeers is. But what can a group a kids do about these ruthless crooks? Keep Calm and Carry On, Children is an interesting story, with lots of everyday details about the early days of the Blitz, and the fear, worry, and trepidation that children must have felt at being sent to strangers in the countryside and away from their family. Many of the evacuees in the book arrived in the countryside in dirty clothes and not have washed, because as the bombing in London increased, the water and gas lines were damaged. That is something I never encountered in a WWII novel about evacuees before. Also, it was so surprising to learn that Joyce and Gina had never used a toothbrush until living with the Woods family. I wonder how common that might have been. The Munsey family was poor in London, and at times, Joyce feels so embarrassment because of it, but was never made to feel bad by Phyllis or her mother. It took some time to get to the part about the black market and Mr. Badderly's mistreatment of Sam, which sadly really did happen to some of evacuees. I think some of the early details could have been edited out without spoiling the story. Also there were mistakes in the ARC I read, which will hopefully be fixed in the final copy, but it was nothing that would ruin the basic story. Mayhew's story was inspired by her grandfather's family, when his parents took in two evacuees from London during the war. And one final thing: though she used the slogan in her title, to her credit, Mayhew didn't use it in the story. Keep Calm and Carry On was only to be used in case of invasion, and that never happened. Keep Calm and Carry On, Children is a novel that should interest young readers interested in history, especially WWII history. This book is recommended for readers age 9+ This book was an EARC received from NetGalley

  4. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Milstein

    First, let me say how much I love the front and back cover, which gives a feel of the first part of the book. Joyce, her little sister, Gina, and their parents are living in London, which is under constant bombardment from Germany. Although the family's house is spared, it's clearly not safe to stay. Joyce and Gina become part of Operation Pied Piper--a program to relocate children to the countryside. The town of Leek is quite different than the city and it takes some adjusting. So far, every ad First, let me say how much I love the front and back cover, which gives a feel of the first part of the book. Joyce, her little sister, Gina, and their parents are living in London, which is under constant bombardment from Germany. Although the family's house is spared, it's clearly not safe to stay. Joyce and Gina become part of Operation Pied Piper--a program to relocate children to the countryside. The town of Leek is quite different than the city and it takes some adjusting. So far, every adult in Joyce's life has been absolutely positive and kind, even the family that takes her in. But a new friend she met on the train, Sam, doesn't have it so lucky. He winds up with an abusive host who's using Sam for his labor. As Joyce tries to help Sam, they find out this host is more dangerous than they thought. The author uses a lot of common words and phrases from the time, giving a more authentic feel of time and place. It will definitely sound like historical fiction to kids.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Murray

    This is a great read for teens. I enjoyed the perspective being that of the kids who are the main characters of the book. I’ve read a lot of WWII books but can’t recall reading any on this subject matter - kids being evacuated out of London to the countryside for safety. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for a free copy of this book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lenny

    The author, Sharon K. Mayhew, was born in England. Although she moved to the U.S.A. at the age of eight, she did not forget her heritage. This, her first novel, takes place during WW II England and was inspired by true family events relative to a government program known as Operation Pied Piper. The program evacuated people to the safety of the country where they were taken in by host families. In the first 3 days, 1.5 million people were evacuated, over 800,00 of them school children. This MG + The author, Sharon K. Mayhew, was born in England. Although she moved to the U.S.A. at the age of eight, she did not forget her heritage. This, her first novel, takes place during WW II England and was inspired by true family events relative to a government program known as Operation Pied Piper. The program evacuated people to the safety of the country where they were taken in by host families. In the first 3 days, 1.5 million people were evacuated, over 800,00 of them school children. This MG + historical fiction novel is narrated by its main character, 11 ½ year old Joyce. She and her 5-year-old sister, Gina, leave bomb riddled London via train. While in transit, they befriend two other evacuees, Molly and Sam. All of them detrain in the small market town of Leek. Here, they are taken in by host families. Joyce and Gina’s host family have a twelve-year-old daughter, Phyllis. Once settled in their new homes, Joyce, Phyllis, Molly and Sam, being of similar age, play in an area outside of the town. While having fun, they find an old, abandoned hut and some ancient caves. Playtime comes to a halt when they discover the hut and caves hold dark and dangerous secrets. Sorry, no spoiler. The story is exciting, educational and important for its historical value. Although a work of fiction, it is an accurate portrayal of what thousands of children experienced. There is much to be learned about the time period and the effect of the war on the children. The story illustrates how the children survived their life changing experience through acceptance, courage, self-reliance, and perseverance. This novel is reminiscent of the adventure series, The Famous Five, by English author Enid Blyton. If you’re a fan of those books, you’ll like this novel. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    S.J. Higbee

    I loved this one. It starts with Joyce and Gina in 1940 enduring a succession of terrifying air raids that severely damage their home and kill neighbours. Their parents reluctantly decide they have no choice but to send the sisters off to the country, taking part in the huge operation to rehouse vulnerable youngsters for the duration of the war. Told in Joyce’s viewpoint, the train journey is told in vivid detail as friendships are formed and one small boy gets left on the train when his sister I loved this one. It starts with Joyce and Gina in 1940 enduring a succession of terrifying air raids that severely damage their home and kill neighbours. Their parents reluctantly decide they have no choice but to send the sisters off to the country, taking part in the huge operation to rehouse vulnerable youngsters for the duration of the war. Told in Joyce’s viewpoint, the train journey is told in vivid detail as friendships are formed and one small boy gets left on the train when his sister gets off. By the time I’d read to this stage, I couldn’t put the book down until I discovered where the girls ended up – would they be separated? This was Joyce’s personal nightmare – both girls were filthy, having had nights spent in underground shelters and no water for washing. As they wait anxiously to discover who will claim them, to look after the girls for the rest of the war, I felt my stomach tighten. I know only too well that it was a complete lottery – while many children were cherished and cared for, some ended up in households who regarded them as unpaid labour, or worse. So where Joyce and Gina end up? This is a gripping read that covers all aspects of being an evacuee, with an extra adventurous brush with black marketeers after the style of an Enid Blyton escapade to add extra spice to this historically accurate story. I would like to think that this book is used in primary school classrooms during a WWII topic – there are all sorts of aspects of this story that merit discussion. Highly recommended for any child interested in WWII. The ebook arc copy of Keep Calm and Carry On, Children was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest opinion of the book. 9/10

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ahaaha4

    I won an ebook edition of this book on Goodreads. I didn’t realize it was a young adult book. It was a very quick read and took place in London and the country side during the Nazi invasion. The entire book spanned 17 days. I would say this is too simple for high school kids but would be a great read for upper elementary and possibly middle school. It was a feel good story about the war. It was about operation Pied Piper, although they just mentioned this briefly no real detail. You definitely w I won an ebook edition of this book on Goodreads. I didn’t realize it was a young adult book. It was a very quick read and took place in London and the country side during the Nazi invasion. The entire book spanned 17 days. I would say this is too simple for high school kids but would be a great read for upper elementary and possibly middle school. It was a feel good story about the war. It was about operation Pied Piper, although they just mentioned this briefly no real detail. You definitely would want to read more about Operation Pied Piper after reading the book. The story starts with bombings in the city of London and families constantly having to go into bomb shelters. When it gets extremely dangerous the British government decided to evacuate children to the country to be taken care of by families living there. It was a much safer environment for them. This is a great book if you want to introduce young children to World War II without the gore and scariness.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    A good story and one in which i know my teenage granddaughter will enjoy. I know i enjoyed reading this book, even though i am at the other end of the age scale. My thanks to Netgalley and the Publishers for my copy. This is my honest review, freely give

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    3.5/5 Stars One of my long-ago supervisors was, as he put it "One of those little boys in short pants that you saw being evacuated by train during World War II." So, I was very excited to read this book and get an idea of what his experience was like. I suspect that this book is intended for a much younger reader than myself. Joyce and Gina are being evacuated to the country as part of Operation Pied Piper. They're clearly not well-off, as we learn that they don't have toothbrushes and a few other 3.5/5 Stars One of my long-ago supervisors was, as he put it "One of those little boys in short pants that you saw being evacuated by train during World War II." So, I was very excited to read this book and get an idea of what his experience was like. I suspect that this book is intended for a much younger reader than myself. Joyce and Gina are being evacuated to the country as part of Operation Pied Piper. They're clearly not well-off, as we learn that they don't have toothbrushes and a few other things. What puzzled me immediately about Joyce and Gina is that they are written as speaking with received pronunciation (the standard English accent heard on the BBC), while those around them are dropping their Hs and saying "wot" all the time. It pulled me right out of the story; children typically don't notice the difference between their speech and anybody else's around them. Anyway, we follow the girls out to the country. They make some friends on the train, including one little boy who really serves no purpose in the story; he loses his sister when he misses a train stop. He gets off with them and is literally never heard from again in the tale. Of course one of the friends has a perfectly horrible guardian, but the girls have the nicest ones imaginable. There is one small adventure toward the end of the book, and then it ends. I'm not clear whether there is going to be another book. The author states that this book is based on her grandfather's stories about taking in refugee children during the war, but it's not made clear in her notes which character is his analog. It could be any number of them, from the nice lady to the horrible man ... but there you are.

  11. 4 out of 5

    John Purvis

    Author Sharon K. Mayhew (https://skmayhew.blogspot.com) published the novella “Keep Calm and Carry On, Children” in 2019. This is her first publication I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novella as ‘PG’ because it contains a few scenes of Violence. The story is set in the UK during late 1940. The primary character is eleven-year-old Joyce Munsey. Munsey and her eight-year-old sister Gina survive a German ra Author Sharon K. Mayhew (https://skmayhew.blogspot.com) published the novella “Keep Calm and Carry On, Children” in 2019. This is her first publication I received an ARC of this novella through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novella as ‘PG’ because it contains a few scenes of Violence. The story is set in the UK during late 1940. The primary character is eleven-year-old Joyce Munsey. Munsey and her eight-year-old sister Gina survive a German raid on London during the Blitz. Their parents decide that the girls need to leave for a safer location. They become part of the Operation Pied Piper exodus in September of 1940. Their destination is Leek, Staffordshire in the West Midlands of England. On the long train ride to their temporary home, the girls meet two other children, Sam Purdy and Molly Neal. They are both about Joyce's age. The Mumsey girls and Molly end up with caring foster families. Sam ends up with a man that just wants him for farm labor. The kids all end up in Leeks and are able to continue their friendship. The kids stumble upon men involved in the black market. This puts them in a dangerous situation. I enjoyed the 2.5+ hours I spent reading this 157-page young adult mystery. The mystery is 'lightweight', but that seems appropriate for a young adult book. I like the view of WWII as seen through young adults' eyes. Clearly, this seems to be the start of a series of books describing the kid's adventures. I like the selected cover art. I give this novella a 4 out of 5. You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

  12. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    I enjoyed this book as I have only heard of the children that were moved from their homes in London to the countrysides through various other stories instead of history books. This makes me think our schools should revisit this. The developing story and mystery within made me feel that it ended way too abruptly considering she made it very clear where the children were coming from and how things were at that time period. I believe she leaves a hint at the end that perhaps she intends on developi I enjoyed this book as I have only heard of the children that were moved from their homes in London to the countrysides through various other stories instead of history books. This makes me think our schools should revisit this. The developing story and mystery within made me feel that it ended way too abruptly considering she made it very clear where the children were coming from and how things were at that time period. I believe she leaves a hint at the end that perhaps she intends on developing the story into a series??? I certainly hope so! Much thanks to the author for sending the book in exchange for the review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aurora

    I won this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway, and the following is my honest review. I wasn't expecting to be taken on a journey by an 11 and a half year old girl. I wanted to go, the journey started quickly, never let up, was warm throughout, and brought me home safely. A fast read! I won this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway, and the following is my honest review. I wasn't expecting to be taken on a journey by an 11 and a half year old girl. I wanted to go, the journey started quickly, never let up, was warm throughout, and brought me home safely. A fast read!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    Laugh out loud, bravery and family

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    It is World War 2. Joyce and her little sister Gina with her parents are in their home made bomb shelter during the German Blitz in London. Bombs are falling. Houses are either totally destroyed or partially. When Joyce’s parent get the notice of Operation Pied Piper, they decide that Joyce and Gina should go with the other children to live in the countryside. Joyce tries to talk her parents out of doing it but doesn’t succeed. On the train, they talk to two others named Molly and Sam. They beco It is World War 2. Joyce and her little sister Gina with her parents are in their home made bomb shelter during the German Blitz in London. Bombs are falling. Houses are either totally destroyed or partially. When Joyce’s parent get the notice of Operation Pied Piper, they decide that Joyce and Gina should go with the other children to live in the countryside. Joyce tries to talk her parents out of doing it but doesn’t succeed. On the train, they talk to two others named Molly and Sam. They become friends. When they end up in the same town, Sam and Molly are chosen first. As Joyce and Gina walk on, they get chosen. Joyce and Gina like their new home and settle in after a few days. When Joyce finds Sam and learns how he is treated, she becomes upset. Joyce decides to try to help Sam. What is so bad about Sam’s home? Joyce also finds Molly and is glad she has a good home in town. She has Molly get involved with helping Sam. When they all go on an outing to slide down a side of the quarry where they discover an abandoned hut. When they go to explore it, they come on a mystery that they decide they will try to solve. What was in the hut? Will they be able to solve it? The book is a peek into what happened to children that went to live in the countryside during World War 2. It had me riding the train trying to be brave about leaving their parents behind. They worried that they might not see their parents ever again. It was interesting to see the kindness of some who took them in and others who took children for “helpers.” Not all homes were good places for children. Its a different part of World War 2 than what is written about. The author has written an interesting story. Disclaimer: I received an arc of this book from the author/publisher from Netgalley. I wasn’t obligated to write a favorable review or any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Annemieke De

    Writer Sharon K. Mayhew started living in de US at the age of eight. She grew up there and became a teacher. She wrote the story about Joyce and her little sister Geena. They are children living in London during WWII. When the bombs are falling their parents decide to send them off to a nearby town. During there trainride they make a couple of friends. All together they leave the train to find a new family. And although Joyce and Geena are last to get a family, most likely because of them wantin Writer Sharon K. Mayhew started living in de US at the age of eight. She grew up there and became a teacher. She wrote the story about Joyce and her little sister Geena. They are children living in London during WWII. When the bombs are falling their parents decide to send them off to a nearby town. During there trainride they make a couple of friends. All together they leave the train to find a new family. And although Joyce and Geena are last to get a family, most likely because of them wanting to be together. They do find a great and loving family to stay with. But not all of Joyce her friends are that lucky. Sam ends up with an older man who treats him very pourly and makes him work real hard. But they decide to help him, ‘cause that’s what friends are for. On one of the trips they make together they find some black market – stuff. When they come back, Joyce hurts her leg and gets in to trouble when they find her. And then she makes a horrible discovery. The story starts in London, where the reader is getting to know the girls and there lives. To bad it is that the book is really a very long introduction towards a not so spectaculair ending. And above all that some big questions about the ending of the war and weather or not the parents of the girls are all right in the end of the war stay unanswered. It’s a bit of several storylines that aren’t worked out so well and makes it an unfinished story. Besides that the story has been written in some kind of dialect english words. This isn’t really appealing to me as a reader. It is a little bit irritating in the end. Which makes the only possitive thing about this story the author letting herself be inspired by her own grandfathers life. But there's not enough strength and power in this story!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Peggy Archer

    A page-turning adventure as seen through the eyes of children evacuated from London during World War II.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sydney Long

    I was drawn to this book by its cover and description of children fleeing the city of London during the Blitz to the countryside. I haven’t come across too many books as such as of yet but I’m glad to have been able to read an early copy thanks to NetGalley. After struggling through several nights of German bombs exploding all around them in London...Joyce and her sister Gina became two of thousands of children sent to the English countryside for safety. Along the way, they befriend Molly and Sam I was drawn to this book by its cover and description of children fleeing the city of London during the Blitz to the countryside. I haven’t come across too many books as such as of yet but I’m glad to have been able to read an early copy thanks to NetGalley. After struggling through several nights of German bombs exploding all around them in London...Joyce and her sister Gina became two of thousands of children sent to the English countryside for safety. Along the way, they befriend Molly and Sam. Together they form a strong friendship along with the girls host sister, Phyllis. While the girls were able to find wonderful host families who cared for them as their own, Sam found his way into the home of an abusive man who made him to strenuous chores and then locked him in a cellar at night. To get Sam away from his host, the girls pitched in to help Sam with the chores and afterwards they would explore the countryside. They make a startling discovery about Sam’s host and devise a plan to free him from abuse and into a proper home. For being 11 or 12 years old, Joyce has a wise beyond her years head on her shoulders. This book is written for young adults and I hope many are able to get their hands on it. It’s a story about friendship and strength in a time of war. Kids need to read stories like this. They’ll gain historical knowledge but also examples of coming together and working as a team. As an adult who frequents WWII fiction, this was a great book to cleanse my palate so to speak. WWII fiction can be extremely emotional and breaks are often needed before diving back into it again. This was a great reprieve and a lovely story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    I received an ARC of this book, but all opinions are my own and remain unbiased. I enjoyed this book; Joyce is an endearing main character and her sister Gina and all their friends are just as enjoyable. It reads as a middle grade to me, something which typically comes with having such a young narrator anyway, but I wasn't put off and I could imagine a parent enjoying reading this also. Any child wanting to know more about WWII or the Blitz would enjoy it, though I'm not entirely sure how I feel I received an ARC of this book, but all opinions are my own and remain unbiased. I enjoyed this book; Joyce is an endearing main character and her sister Gina and all their friends are just as enjoyable. It reads as a middle grade to me, something which typically comes with having such a young narrator anyway, but I wasn't put off and I could imagine a parent enjoying reading this also. Any child wanting to know more about WWII or the Blitz would enjoy it, though I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the writing-out of accents, particularly the girls' father. Seeing accents written out phonetically is not my cup of tea, especially in middle grade, where it's important that words are written out properly so a child doesn't end up writing "little uns" in an English class. I also wish this book would have delved deeper into the black market part, as it felt less flushed out than the rest of the plot because it took place at the very end, but this was still an enjoyable read. I would recommend this to young children interested in WWII to read with their parents or as part of a classroom topic on the Blitz.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Addie_read_this

    To be completely honest, I think this book should be longer. The build up of the story is really good and draws you in at an instant. But towards the end it feels so rushed and the book ends so suddenly that I am wondering if this is the complete book? If that is the case I hope there will be a second book since this one left me with a lot of questions. Overall I liked the book, I just think that it could use a bit of improvement. For instance the characters seem a bit flat and it took me way to To be completely honest, I think this book should be longer. The build up of the story is really good and draws you in at an instant. But towards the end it feels so rushed and the book ends so suddenly that I am wondering if this is the complete book? If that is the case I hope there will be a second book since this one left me with a lot of questions. Overall I liked the book, I just think that it could use a bit of improvement. For instance the characters seem a bit flat and it took me way too long to figure out that Joyce is 12 years old, which is an important thing. Her age justifies her actions. I have a lot of unanswered questions, for example “are her parents okay?” “What happened to the black market people” etc etc. The book wrapped up way too soon and could easily use another 50 pages to round it off. Or a prologue to give the book closure. I do recommend the book. It is historically accurate and is a fun and quick read. But I hope it has a sequel @brwpublisher

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Reading about the Blitz from the viewpoint of 11 year old Joyce was excellent. The gut wrenching detail was very well done. I enjoyed the characterization of all the family and neighbors and the decision making process to evacuate. Joyce makes the best of her journey and creates more family with Sam and Molly on the way to get a new home. I cared about her and her little sister while they settled into their new family. So far, the book is great. Then Joyce and her friends found that Sam was bein Reading about the Blitz from the viewpoint of 11 year old Joyce was excellent. The gut wrenching detail was very well done. I enjoyed the characterization of all the family and neighbors and the decision making process to evacuate. Joyce makes the best of her journey and creates more family with Sam and Molly on the way to get a new home. I cared about her and her little sister while they settled into their new family. So far, the book is great. Then Joyce and her friends found that Sam was being abused and did not tell an adult. They found evidence of a major crime and did not tell an adult. They went back to the crime scene without telling an adult and only when Joyce was injured, did they go to get adult help. And still Joyce did not admit to the entire abuse and crime and paid off the bad guys to try to help Sam. This is NOT acceptable in a book possibly for kids.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I won a kindle version in the goodreads giveaways. The book is seen through the eyes of Joyce an 11 year old girl in 1940.She lives in England with her family they are victims of World War 2 and Hitler's holocaust. After watching their neighborhood get bombed Joyce and her five year old sister Gina is sent on a train in the Evacuee program where children are sent to live in another town far from London. They meet Sam and Molly on the train and the y end up in the same town. Joyce and Gina end up I won a kindle version in the goodreads giveaways. The book is seen through the eyes of Joyce an 11 year old girl in 1940.She lives in England with her family they are victims of World War 2 and Hitler's holocaust. After watching their neighborhood get bombed Joyce and her five year old sister Gina is sent on a train in the Evacuee program where children are sent to live in another town far from London. They meet Sam and Molly on the train and the y end up in the same town. Joyce and Gina end up with a kind family, so does Molly but Sam ends up with a bad man who treats him awful. together the four kids discover something they were not supposed to, Something that could put them in danger. This book takes place over a few weeks. A pretty nice read for kids to read and learn about what kids may have gone through during World War 2 .

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mdmaurer

    Keep Calm and Carry On, Children is set in England during WWII. It follows the lives of Joyce and her sister who live in London during the time of air raids, bomb shelters, and death. Their parents make a hard decision to move their children to the far countryside away from danger. This move is what is known as Operation Pied Piper. WWII is taught in many schools around the world, but I believe that this part of history is not well known. As the story unfolds, Joyce and her sister make friends o Keep Calm and Carry On, Children is set in England during WWII. It follows the lives of Joyce and her sister who live in London during the time of air raids, bomb shelters, and death. Their parents make a hard decision to move their children to the far countryside away from danger. This move is what is known as Operation Pied Piper. WWII is taught in many schools around the world, but I believe that this part of history is not well known. As the story unfolds, Joyce and her sister make friends on the train and have quite an adventure of their own in the quiet village of Leek. It is here they learn that black and white is more of a grey when times are hard and the country is at war. War has changed the lives of all - no matter where you live or how old you are. Sharon creates adventure that any reader is bound to keep turning pages to see what becomes of Joyce and her friends.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Holleman

    Hey, folks! You gotta read this book. I got an Advanced Reader Copy at noon one day and couldn't put it down. Well, I had to put it down and do a little cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. but I had it read by noon the next day. It kept me spellbound. Couldn't wait to turn the next page. The knowledge of WWII history and the history and culture of England was phenomenal. It's historical fiction, so well written and easy to read. You'll get a history lesson without even knowing it. The author is a p Hey, folks! You gotta read this book. I got an Advanced Reader Copy at noon one day and couldn't put it down. Well, I had to put it down and do a little cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. but I had it read by noon the next day. It kept me spellbound. Couldn't wait to turn the next page. The knowledge of WWII history and the history and culture of England was phenomenal. It's historical fiction, so well written and easy to read. You'll get a history lesson without even knowing it. The author is a precious young lady who lived in Cabot, Arkansas and graduated from Cabot High School although her roots are in England.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I would definitely put this book in the intermediate/middle grade category. Sam’s situation, while neglectful and boardering on abusive adds the problem elements to the story which I think middle grade students could understand. I found the story a bit goody too shoes and I don’t know if children will relate to the characters. The subject matter of evacuees from the London bombings during World War II is more believable in The War That Saved my Life by Kim Brubaker Bradley, although I did find t I would definitely put this book in the intermediate/middle grade category. Sam’s situation, while neglectful and boardering on abusive adds the problem elements to the story which I think middle grade students could understand. I found the story a bit goody too shoes and I don’t know if children will relate to the characters. The subject matter of evacuees from the London bombings during World War II is more believable in The War That Saved my Life by Kim Brubaker Bradley, although I did find the train ride and the distribution of the children to be interesting. #KeepCalmAndCarryOnChildren #NetGalley #ARC

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kamis Gardner

    I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I went into this book expecting more than I got out of it. It read more like a middle grade book than a young adult. The storyline was a little simpler than I was expecting, and the mystery wasn't much of a mystery. It was pretty easy to figure what was going on and who was doing it. The main characters were all younger children, and they all had pretty basic personalties without a lot of depth. I thi I received a copy of this book via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I went into this book expecting more than I got out of it. It read more like a middle grade book than a young adult. The storyline was a little simpler than I was expecting, and the mystery wasn't much of a mystery. It was pretty easy to figure what was going on and who was doing it. The main characters were all younger children, and they all had pretty basic personalties without a lot of depth. I think this a good book for a younger audience to become acquainted with WWII, but I think older audiences may find it a bit lacking.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Barb Wild

    loved the book, easy to read, and something different to read on my new iphone RED...lol I loved the historical aspect of this book and the way it was told in the voice of an eleven year old. I can not imagine what my children would feel if they were sent away without me at such a young age. The descriptions of the bombings, the sound of everything really got to me. I would have loved to use this in middle and high school as a teaching aid. I hope a second book comes out! Thanks Sharon K. Mayhew loved the book, easy to read, and something different to read on my new iphone RED...lol I loved the historical aspect of this book and the way it was told in the voice of an eleven year old. I can not imagine what my children would feel if they were sent away without me at such a young age. The descriptions of the bombings, the sound of everything really got to me. I would have loved to use this in middle and high school as a teaching aid. I hope a second book comes out! Thanks Sharon K. Mayhew for the wonderful book and the publishers for sending it to me!

  28. 5 out of 5

    amyjayereads

    I feel like this is quite a unique historical fiction story, the fact that it's about the child's experience during the war and being evacuated to the country, normally I have only read stories from the adults perspective. I think this book reads more middle grade than teen/ya, and it can come across quite juvenile at times. I would say it would be quite an exciting and thought provoking story for a child, and could see a lot of children enjoying it. I feel like this is quite a unique historical fiction story, the fact that it's about the child's experience during the war and being evacuated to the country, normally I have only read stories from the adults perspective. I think this book reads more middle grade than teen/ya, and it can come across quite juvenile at times. I would say it would be quite an exciting and thought provoking story for a child, and could see a lot of children enjoying it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    TBHONEST

    An enjoyable read on a subject that many have written about. It was a well paced read. very descriptive with good dialogue that carried the story along nicely. Being from the children's POV made it a refreshing tale on what life was like for evacuated children during world war 2. It captured the emotions they went through clearly and eloquently. Would highly recommend schools put this on there reading list when covering World War 2. An enjoyable read on a subject that many have written about. It was a well paced read. very descriptive with good dialogue that carried the story along nicely. Being from the children's POV made it a refreshing tale on what life was like for evacuated children during world war 2. It captured the emotions they went through clearly and eloquently. Would highly recommend schools put this on there reading list when covering World War 2.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jemi Fraser

    Loved it! Joyce is the 11-year-old heroine of the story and she is a terrific character. The details around and emotions of people coping with the bombing in 1940's London are very authentic. Tension mounts as the plot twists in unexpected directions. I certainly hope for more stories of Joyce and her family!! A thoroughly entertaining book which will be enjoyed by adults and young people alike. A fabulous read! Loved it! Joyce is the 11-year-old heroine of the story and she is a terrific character. The details around and emotions of people coping with the bombing in 1940's London are very authentic. Tension mounts as the plot twists in unexpected directions. I certainly hope for more stories of Joyce and her family!! A thoroughly entertaining book which will be enjoyed by adults and young people alike. A fabulous read!

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