Written by Michelle Magorian
Part of the A Puffin Book Series
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The Lovereading4Kids comment
Intensely moving this is the story of a young girl coming to terms with getting to know her family again, including a little brother, having been evacuated to America for the duration of WW2. Sometimes sad but also uplifting as you share the young girls feelings as she struggles and quite often fails to live up to expectations particularly when at times she becomes Rusty the rebel.
Puffin Fact! One of Rusty’s favourite memories is making and eating s’mores around
the campfire down at the lake. S'mores are an American tradition, and no one is quite sure who invented them. The first known recipe appeared in 1927 in a Girl Scout handbook called Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. Download more Puffin Facts here!
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Back Home by Michelle Magorian
It's 1945. World War II has just ended and twelve-year-old Rusty comes back home to Britain after being evacuated to the US. The greyness and bleakness of life in England is a shock, but even worse is adapting to the strict discipline of her family, including a brother she's never met, after the warmth and openness of her adopted American family. Rusty is sent to an horrific boarding school, before finally running away as her search for happiness becomes more and more desperate.
Michelle’s books, including her first book, Goodnight Mister Tom, are often set around the time of the Second World War. While doing research for the novel that became Goodnight Mister Tom she came across a photograph of some children coming back from America in 1945. This image kept popping into her head. It was as if the children were saying, ‘You’re going to have to write about one of us, otherwise we’re not going to leave you alone.’ So Michelle started interviewing people, and reading about how people coped after the war, particularly families living together again after years apart. Back Home, which took Michelle two years to write, begins just after the end of the war, when Rusty returns home from her evacuation in America.
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Interest Age: From 9
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