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The Runaways

The Runaways

Published: 3 Oct 2019

Paperback / softback, 336 pages

Recommended for age 9+

By Holly Webb

Published by Scholastic

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Written by bestselling author Holly Webb, The Runaways beautifully captures the spirit of Great Britain during the Second World War, weaving together themes of resilience, identity and what it means to call a place your home. It's London in the late 1930s, and the Second World War is imminent. When a young Londoner called Molly hears that the children in her neighbourhood are being evacuated, she feels relieved.

The war scares her, and living in the city means living in the heart of danger. However, Molly's relief is short lived because her mum refuses to let her go, telling her that she has to stay and help with the war effort. And that's not all - times are tough, and there's not enough food or supplies for people, let alone pets.

This means that Molly's beloved dog Bertie is now considered "surplus to requirement". So Molly decides to escape. Stowing away on a train, Molly makes it to the country, but once there the reality of her situation dawns on her: she doesn't know where she is or who to trust.

It's not until Molly comes across two other runaways that she starts to feel safe again. Maybe, just maybe, with each other's help, they have a chance of overcoming the trials put in front of them.

Tagged war and conflict