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The Week at World's End

Written by Emma Carroll

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The Week at World's End Review

Adventure Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Historical Fiction Thrillers

Modern history from a master historical novelist

Set in Britain in 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis this makes for an edgy thriller as everyone wonders if they will survive the week, never mind solve the mystery of the girl found in the coal shed!

Stevie and her best friend Ray, the former British, the latter American, realise they are living through uncertain times with their parents on edge in case there is to be a nuclear war – but Stevie and Ray have their own problems to solve.  Stevie has discovered a mysterious girl – Anna – in her coal shed.  She agrees to help shelter Anna from the people who are threatening Anna’s future – Anna says people are trying to poison her.


There are family secrets unearthed, families stressed, and a thriller unfolding over a period of seven days. What a masterpiece of thrilling historical writing. Carroll has taken family themes, mixed in with the politics of the day and woven them into a compelling thriller based on strong historical research.  The characters are endearing as they struggle to piece together many complex issues in an accessible way and make a hopeful story emerge from what could have been a very dark period in history.  Another triumph, highly recommended. 

Tricia Adams

The Week at World's End Synopsis

1962, London during the Cuban Missile Crisis What would you do if there was a real possibility that the world might end?

Ray, aware of his parents' building worry, decides to take matters into his own hands. He builds a shelter in the woods behind his house in the hope that he never has to use it. Only to discover that someone else needs it more than he does. An American girl, reported missing, has turned up there... Why is she hiding?

And with neighbour turning against neighbour, will Ray be willing to help her?

Set over the six days when the Cuban Missile Crisis became public knowledge, this tense, clever thriller might just be Emma Carroll's best book yet!

The Week at World's End Press Reviews

'The Hilary Mantel of children's fiction.' The Telegraph

'Rightfully owns the title Queen of Historical Fiction .' BookTrust

'Historical fiction at its finest.' Bookseller

'Echoes of Michael Morpurgo and Nina Bawden.' The Times

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780571332830
Publication date: 13/04/2022
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780571364435
Publication date: 02/09/2021
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780571332830
Publication date: 13th April 2022
Author: Emma Carroll
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Historical Fiction, Thrillers
Collections: Brilliant Children's Books to Read this Summer,

About Emma Carroll

Emma Carroll is a secondary school English teacher. She has also worked as a news reporter, an avocado picker and the person who punches holes into filofax paper. She recently graduated with distinction from Bath Spa University's MA in Writing For Young People. Emma lives in the Somerset hills with her husband and two terriers.

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