The Week at World's End

Emma Carroll (Faber)

The Week At World's End

Review by Tehmeed
Have you found your favourite book to read or are you still looking at covers and blurbs? If you are one of the latter then The Week at World’s End should be your next read.

Friendship, loyalty, and courage are only some of the themes included herein. This story begins during the peak of tension because of the Cuban Missile Crisis and is told through a young girl called Stevie (Vie). Stevie lived in a small town in England called World’s End with her mother and older sister. However, one day after tea, she found an unwanted guest lurking around in her coal shed. Because nothing interesting had ever happened at World’s End, she decided to help this girl (Anna) who ‘was being poisoned’ and also informed her friend Ray and he also agreed to help. After this, an adventure starts in which this trio learn astonishing new things about each other and the crisis they are living through.

From reading The Week at World’s End I learned quite a few unexpected things. As an example, I knew about the Cuban Missile Crisis but I never knew that the USA also had some airbases across the Atlantic Ocean in the UK. I also found out that in the 1960s doctors were still finding out a cure for cancer. My favourite part of the book is when Anna reunites with her parents and all the misunderstandings between them were ended.

I would recommend this book for a bit of adventure. I will give this book a 9/10 because the only thing wrong with it is that it doesn’t include a lot of action (which I would prefer).

Review by Phoebe
I really enjoyed this book because it made me aware of what happened in the 1960s with the worries of a nuclear war breaking out between Russia and America. This book also made me think about the impact it would have had on children. Stories like this about how ordinary families’ lives were affected during the threat of the nuclear war, are not told enough. I found this book interesting because I had not really learnt about the 1960s before and I did not know anything about nuclear bombs or the effects they had on people.

The most interesting character in this book for me is Stevie Fisher because she started off shy and not really speaking up but then she meets Anna and Stevie discovers that she should not just stand back and let somebody else tell her how to live her life, she needs to stand up and say what is right and make the change. She really develops as a character and at the end, Stevie gives a speech to her town about the nuclear bombing testing and how her dad was involved and her died due to side effects.

The thing that stands out the most about this book for me is that Anna helps Stevie and her friend ray to become more individual and focus on what is happening now rather than worrying about the future. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy reading and learning about history but also someone who likes books about adventure.

Review by Stella
4 stars. I thought this book was really, really good. I like how it was written about a time period less commonly known and also was subtle, whilst still highlighting some important issues. I have always been interested in this period of history and I thought it was a really good representation. I loved the characters, and I thought the dynamics were really good. They seemed like best friends even though they had only just met Anna, yet it was still natural. I also liked the character of Stevie, and enjoyed how she found her voice during the book. I also liked how it had a link to one of the author’s previous books, it didn’t affect the plot at all but it made me smile. The book was gripping, but also tender. A really good read!

Review by Riya
This book (set during the Cuban missile crisis in the Cold War) is about two kids who find a girl in their coal shed who claims that she is being followed by poisoners. It’s a very exciting start and I had no idea that would happen in the end.

The whole story is set in one week and I read it in less than a week, too, because it was so exciting. Most of the reasons I stopped reading were because I fell asleep as it was really late and I’d been reading it for so long.

The book is split into 7 days as well as chapters and it also has a headline from a daily newspaper at the start of each day e.g., “world holds its breath”. This makes the story feel more tense, especially as you know that the Cuban missile crisis was a real event that happened in history and these are probably real headlines. It made me think about how amazing it is that we are still here now! I didn’t know much about this period in time before I read the book and reading this book helped me learn a lot about certain events in the Cold War and made me look up more facts about it.

My favourite character is Stevie’s friend Ray because he has a really wild imagination and is always kind to Stevie.

If you like historical books, you will like this. I have never read another book like this set in the 1960s but it was interesting and I might read more books like this in the future.

Review by Elora
A Week at World’s End is about two friends Stevie Fisher and Ray Johnson, who meet Anna – a mysterious girl who’s runaway, during the week of the Cuban missile crisis. The whole book is very down to earth with realistic characters and believable environments for the time.

I recommend this book for anyone who just getting into historical fiction. The time period is relatively close to ours. This book tackles difficult themes like prejudice, discrimination and the effects of a war.

It’s easy to read and has a rather engaging plot. I’ve never read anything quite like it. Fantastic, one of Emma Carroll’s best.

Review by Leo 
This is an excellent book that I very much enjoyed. It is packed with rich and complex characters who, nonetheless, come across as extremely realistic. It is difficult to choose my favourite character between Anna and Rachel. I can relate to Rachel as she enjoys acting – something I love. I also really enjoy her upbeat personality and how loyal she is to Stevie and Ray. I really like Anna because she is very strong minded, determined and has a good heart.

I learnt a huge amount about the period of time in which it was set. I knew nothing about the Cold War before reading the book. It was only 60 years ago and yet many things in life were very different and I found that very interesting. The fact that children actually did paper rounds, and that people primarily got their news from newspapers surprised me. I was interested to note the many differences between that time and the age of social media.

The plot has comic elements but it is also both serious and thought-provoking because of the ever-present, looming prospect of the war. The variety of ways in which people reacted to the threat of war really stood out for me. Some people protested, while others were relaxed, laid back and did nothing, assuming that the government would sort it all out.

There was some interesting vocabulary in the book – people tended to speak in a way that would be considered eccentric today, saying things like “rather!” and “how do?”. Also, while I had heard the term “Cold War” before, the book really explained the situation to me.

I loved this book and would recommend it to young adolescents, beginning to work out how to cope with life, as that is what is basically happening in the story – only in a different context.

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