New reading recommendations have been added to the blog for Year 7 and Year 9 boys. Follow the links at the top of the page to find them.
Nina Bawden, author of Carrie’s War, died at home on 22nd August 2012 aged 87. Nina Bawden started writing because she thought that the books her children were reading were too unrealistic and middle class. She depicted life as it was, featuring families going through divorce, children running away and even dying at a time when stories were full of children having “spiffing adventures what ho.” She also wrote novels for adults.
Nina used lots of her own experience in her work, and her life was not without its own tragedies. Her own son killed himself in his 30s and her husband was killed in the Potters Bar rail crash in 2002. Interestingly, this did not seem to make her bitter, she said of herself, “I am not a victim, I am an angry survivor.” She campaigned hard to improve rail safety with the other survivors of the crash.
The biggest influence on her childhood was being evacuated to Wales as a young girl. This experience was used in the crafting of her most famous story “Carrie’s War,” which has also been adapted for the screen and stage.
The closest modern writer I can think to compare her influence with is Jacqueline Wilson. That is to say that she took children’s writing and moved it on into the modern setting of life and described what people were really experiencing.
Nina Bawden’s best known children’s works are:
- Carrie’s War
- The Peppermint Pig
If you like Nina Bawden, you might like to try:
- Theresa Breslin
- Judith Kerr
- Michelle Magorian