The Life and Times of a busy bookseller, her husband and Gordon setter dogs in North Norfolk.

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Born In Essex, UK.
School in Luton.
College - Sussex.
Worked in Cambs.
Now Living in Norfolk.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Nina Bawden 1925 - 2012

Nina Bawden, probably best known for writing Carrie's War, died this morning.  I just heard it on the news. Another talented children's author leaves us.It's as well there are some budding new talents amongst the youngsters!

In fact Nina Bawden began her writing career as an adult novelist, in 1953, and published her first children's book some 4 years later.  She went on to establish an equally high reputation in both fields. She began her children's writing exploring conventional adventure stories, producing such works as Devil by the Sea (1957), The Secret Passage (1963) & On the run (1964).  However, later on, in Squib (1971) she produced a more striking story, about children who encounter a maltreated boy, and how frightening the realities of life can be. Her successor to this, Carrie's War (1973) proved to be an original and worthy achievement, being an account of wartime evacuee children in Wales, based on her own evacuation experiences. Likewise The Peppermint Pig (1975) is another realistic outstanding novel, about childhood experiences, based around an Edwardian family who are suddenly thrown into poverty, leaving their comfortable London home for a Norfolk market town.

In 1978 Nina produced a sequel to Carrie's War (Rebel on a rock) which was an ironic inversion of a children's thriller , as the intervention of the children produces not the usual happy ending, but disaster - as it probably would in real life! Likewise, in The robbers (1979) expectations are inverted again, as when the boy heroes act out their fantasies about thieves, they find themselves in deep trouble.

Bibliography of Children's Books

Devil by the Sea - Collins, 1957
The Secret Passage, Gollancz, 1963
On the run, Gollancz, 1964
The White Horse Gang, Gollancz, 1966
The Witch's Daughter, illustrated by Shirley Hughes, Gollancz, 1966
A Handful of Thieves, Gollancz, 1967
The Runaway Summer, Gollancz, 1969
Squib, illustrated by Shirley Hughes, Gollancz, 1971
Carrie's War; Gollancz, 1973
The Peppermint Pig; illustrated by Alexy Pendle Gollancz, 1975.
Rebel on a Rock (sequel to Carrie's War); Gollancz, 1978;
The Robbers; Illustrated by Charles Keeping; Gollancz, 1979;
William Tell (Illustrated by Pascale Allamand) Cape, 1981
Kept in the Dark; Gollancz, 1982
The Finding; Gollancz, 1985; 
Princess Alice (illustrated by Phillida Gill) Deutsch, 1985.

See our current Nina Bawden Stock at:         (or go to and do a quick search under Nina Bawden). 



  1. With the increased usage of cell phones, TV, etc. we need to get young children and teens more interested in reading books, but first you will have to get their attention. We all love a good spooky story. It could be the inner child in us that still fears the dark. I wrote a series of spooky stories for my grandchildren. They are intended to be read around the family camp fire (the fireplace). Moral lessons are also contained within these stories. My grandchildren loved the stories so much that I decided to publish them in ebook form on the KINDLE bookstore under the title SPOOKY MOON STORIES by RAYMOND THOR. Click here:

    1. I don't. Know your stories, and to be honest I prefer real page turning books to kindles, but I do agree that it's important to get children reading. I used to be a primary teacher, and aimed to get children reading as soon as possible. Once learnt it is a skill acquired for life.