A new novel by Emma Carroll is always hotly anticipated and The Week at World’s End has been no exception! Set in Britain in 1962, this middle-grade thriller tells the story of Stevie and her best friend Ray as they discover a girl on the run hiding in Stevie’s shed. Published by Faber, the story transports you to a time when the world was on the precipice of nuclear war…
The Week at World’s End by Emma Carroll
Nothing ever happens in World’s End Close, So when Stevie discovers a runaway girl in her coal shed, the first things she does is fetch her best friend, Ray. Both are dying for a bit of adventure, and when the girl begs for help, they readily agree. Yet soon they realise they’ve taken on more than they bargained for. The girl, Anna, reveals she’s on the run from people who are trying to poison her. Meanwhile on the news, the Americans and the Russians are arguing over missiles in Cuba. As the threat of war grows, Anna’s behaviour becomes more mysterious. And when Stevie unearths a dark family secret, she wonders if Anna has come to World’s End Close on purpose, with a special message for her.
The Cuban Missile Crisis during the Cold War provides the unnerving backdrop for The Week at World’s End and Emma Carroll weaves an enthralling tale, capturing the feel of the time, alongside the mystery that unfolds over the seven-day Crisis period. Stevie and Ray definitely find their adventure – and definitely more than they bargained for – when they decide to help Anna! With engaging characters from very different family backgrounds and dealing with a variety of issues such as parental bereavement to racial prejudice, the themes are interwoven with an engaging plot centred on helping Anna, all whilst facing the threat of war. The fallout from the Second World War is still very real and the impact of this being felt, as we discover the truth about Stevie’s father and how he died.
The Week at World’s End is a really clever story, with so much to think about, and shines a light on the importance of the truth in every situation and knowing when to speak out. A great book to encourage children to think about how they can use their voice to help in our own tumultuous political times.
Find out more at www.faber.co.uk. With thanks to Faber for sending me this book to review.