Stars: ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Stevie lives on World’s End Close and nothing exciting EVER happens there. Along with her friend Ray, she goes about life wondering when she will find an adventure. This all changes, however, when she finds a runaway girl in her shed! She begs them for help and, finally having the opportunity for adventure, they agree.
It all becomes a lot more serious when Anna, the girl in the shed, claims she is running away from people who are trying to poison her. With the threat of war between America and Russia beginning to reach boiling point over Cuban missiles, the children need to unearth secrets to determine if they are at risk of the danger growing around them.
With Anna’s behaviour becoming even more mysterious and even the adults becoming anxious of the impact war may have on their families, will Anna and Ray be able to help her, but also look after themselves?
Emma is the queen of a historical novel and this is no different. I always enjoy books which are set in a less familiar context of history as it allows children to develop their understanding of world issues beyond those taught on the curriculum. After reading, I was inspired to look up more about the conflict as it was not one I had previously been familiar with.
Stevie and Ray are a brilliant duo and seeing how their families also reacted to the news around them created a really interesting story. Their personalities are different but worked together, particularly when Anna was also introduced. Anna herself added an interesting dynamic to the story. The mystery surrounding her kept the interest going throughout the story!
I enjoyed the themes within the story – Anna’s background, as it was uncovered – added a different layer to the story beyond the historical element and I think it was dealt with from a perspective that felt realistic yet also emotionally empathetic. Without giving any spoilers, it is important children see a range of sensitive topics tackled within books in order to help either themselves, or others, also deal with these events if they come across them within their lives.
Definitely a read you need!
If you like the sound of this book, buy it here.
📚 Book gifted by author.