London, 1942: Thirteen-year-old Nell and five-year-old Olive are being sent away from the devastation of the East End. They are leaving the terror of the Blitz and nights spent shivering in air raid shelters behind them, but will the strangers they are billeted with be kind and loving, or are there different hardships ahead?
As the sisters struggle to adjust to life as evacuees, they soon discover that living in the countryside isn’t always idyllic. Nell misses her mother and brothers more than anything but she has to stay strong for Olive. Then, when little Olive’s safety is threatened by a boy on a farm, Nell has to make a decision that will change their lives forever…
They must run from danger and try to find their way home.
Together the two girls hold each other’s hands as they begin their perilous journey across bombed-out Britain. But when Nell falls ill, can she still protect her little sister from the war raging around them? And will they ever be reunited from the family they’ve been torn from?
An unputdownable novel of unconditional love, friendship and the fight for survival during a time of unimaginable change. The Runaway Children is guaranteed to find a place in your heart.
My Review: 5/5
What a wonderful read! It takes place during WWII, in the outskirts of London. As children start to be evacuated to safer areas, Nell and her sister Olive soon join. The story takes us through their adventures, some good and some terrifying as we watch the two sisters grow and blossom.
The writing is absolutely beautiful. It’s a story of hope, and the true importance of family. I grew to love Nell and Olive as I traveled across the lands with them. Each place they stayed created unforgivable memories as they both met delightful and long-lasting friends. This was back in the day when letters were written, and times were much simpler (despite the war). They were innocent times, as Nell struggles to keep her sister safe, but also with herself growing into the woman she will become. I loved Nell. Her innocence was enduring and I enjoyed being with her as she discovered feelings of love, and guilt all the while making Olive her number one priority.
This is a book that I will read over and over again. The simple, yet complex story is one I won’t forget anytime soon!