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: http://bit.ly/O1TOAO (or go to http://www.peakirkbooks.com and do a quick search under Nina Bawden).