The Week at World’s End


Anna says that she’ll only need to be hidden in the coal shed for a night. Stevie and her best friend Ray help her out the best they can, though it’s difficult with Nan staying during Mum’s absence. Then there’s the fact that Anna shares little about why she needs to be hidden. Stevie and Ray grasp that it’s an emergency, something to do with arsenic…  Yet why come to World’s End Close?

It seems there’s a ‘world ending’ feeling altogether in this week of weeks, as the relationship between the United States and Russia reaches boiling point over Cuba. Doesn’t anyone realise the danger of missiles, remember how WWII concluded and thereafter the nuclear testing that continued? It seems the drama half a world a way touches Stevie and Ray’s lives closely. They’ve never seen activity about the town’s American airfield before. Now there are landing lines being painted on the runway. What’s more, the airmen warn Stevie and Ray away, as they seek a further hiding place for Anna.

Can Anna stay hidden? From whom is she desperate to escape?

Then again, what does any of this have to do with a letter Stevie discovers accidentally? She was supposed to read it on sixteenth birthday. However, there’s something about these peculiar times that prompt Vie to read these revelations from her late, much missed, father….

It’s 1962 and the world seems at crisis point. Once Stevie longed for something to happen at World’s End Close. Now she’s exhausted and confused. What is The Week at World’s End trying to show her?

Emma Carroll offers a confident, convincing and direct novel that Bookwagon recommends highly to its middle grade readers. The Week at World’s End holds an urgent authenticity and respect for its readers away. Bookwagon loves this latest title from an inspiring and insightful writer. Available for preorder

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The Week at World’s End

Emma Carroll

(Faber & Faber)

Stevie thinks little happens at World’s End Close. Certainly, more exciting things seem to happen at Ray’s house, where the Johnsons appear more engaged, if not by news from America, where Ray’s father is from, then from their television. It seems that the news is all about growing tensions in Cuba and missiles and gathering Russian ships. Yet that is all so far away, while the greater drama seems to be closer to home, with an expected discover in the coal shed.
Who is Anna? What do her stories about poisoning really mean? Then again, what is happening at the American airbase, that skirts their town? Ray’s father has told them to stay away, but somehow this place offers a hiding placing for Stevie and Ray to hide Anna. Alongside her hunger and need to hide, Anna offers few answers. It seems she knows Stevie somehow. Yet Stevie is still trying to figure herself out, from the aching void she feels since the loss of her Dad, to the absence of her mother’s affection.
Emma Carroll moves her readers to a less familiar era, that of early Beatles, Mods vs Rockers, President John F. Kennedy and knowledge of the potential harm of the nuclear bomb… Along the way, we enjoy a nod to some familiar characters from this author’s beloved Letters from the Lighthouse. Yet all the time, from the Close, the coal shed, the pin hole or Budmouth Point, we’re aware of the growing danger of events close to Cuba, and then at home. This is a potent week in history, and our characters’ lives…
Bookwagon loves this pacy, confident, compulsive and empathetic novel. We believe Stevie, her world, feelings and fears. What’s more, we are caught up in The Week at World’s End. 


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