The Book Balloon

Heidi Thomas, Independent Usborne Organiser


Book Review - Girls at War

24th July 2019

When Josie goes to stay with her cousin Edith in Chelsea, she's glad to be getting a fresh start away from all of the name-calling by her classmates. Even some of her teachers had cooled towards her once they discovered that her brother chose not to fight in the war, and the shame has haunted her family ever since.

But Josie's new school brings fresh problems. When she finds herself sat next to Alice Hampton, a peculiar girl who doesn't say a word, Josie doesn't feel very welcome at all. But, when Alice is teased mercilessly by Edith and her friends, Josie feels uncomfortable. After all, she knows how it feels to be on the other side of the nastiness.

When Josie receives a letter from her brother telling her that he will be paying her a visit, she can't help but feel conflicted. On the one hand she's ecstatic, but on the other she's decidedly nervous: what if someone from school sees her with him, dressed in his civvies? His lack of uniform would surely spark questions...

As Josie spends more time with Edith and her friends, she struggles with her dilemma as the bullying campaign against Alice gets meaner and meaner. When Josie confronts her cousin, she realises she's at risk of being shut out again.

If she takes a stand, will Edith tell everyone her secret?

Girls at War is the sixth title in the 6 Chelsea Walk series, and is a thought-provoking story about having the courage to break from the crowd to stand up for what you believe is right. A perfect blend of history and storytelling, it illuminates women's roles during the Second World War, providing a fascinating insight into Blitz-era London.

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