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By Shaked Karabelnicoff , Grade 5 Brock Corydon Student, June 14, 2010

The Guests of War is a 563 page trilogy by the wonderful writer Kit Pearson. Girls in grades five to eight, ages 10 to 14, would be touched by this wonderful trilogy. It is quite a long book since it is a trilogy but you don’t even realize it. This book takes place in the 1940s but goes on for around 16 years until 1956.
The book is historical fiction book about two children, Norah and Gavin Stokes, who are living in a small town beside London during World War II. Gavin is three years old and does not understand what is going on. But Norah is 10 and is very much aware of the war. Norah is very brave, and she and her friends are helping the war effort by watching for German planes. Lots of kids are being sent away to live in Canada until the war is over. Norah thinks this is cowardly and is sure her parents are not sending her away. But she is wrong.
When her grandfather moves in because his house was bombed. Norah’s parents decide it is much too dangerous for her and Gavin to stay there. They will board a ship the next week and go to live in Toronto, with a wealthy woman who seems to prefer Gavin over Norah. Traveling across the ocean is an adventure, but Norah’s new life in Canada is a bigger challenge than she ever expected. Until, that is, Norah discovers a surprising responsibility that helps her accept her new country and her new home.
Norah and Gavin have now lived in Canada for three years with the Ogilvies. Then Andrew, an Ogilvie cousin, comes to spend the summer at Gairloch (the family cottage). Andrew is 19, handsome and intelligent. Norah thinks she may be falling in love for the first time, but since Andrew is much too old for her he doesn't return her feelings. Even now the war threatens to ruin her happiness.
It has been five years since Norah and Gavin have arrived in Canada, and now that the war is ending, they will soon be going back to England. Fifteen-year-old Norah is eager to see her parents again, but 10 year-old Gavin barely remembers them. He doesn't want to leave his Canadian family, his two best friends and his dog. Feeling guilty and confused, he falls under the influence of a bully at school and gets into a lot of trouble. Then something
happens that forces Gavin to make the most difficult decision of his life.
This amazing historical fiction novel is sure to let your emotions loose. The detailed writing plays out like a movie in my mind that you could never imagine. One of the nice things about this book is that, though it is long, you will never feel like you want to abandon the book. This is my favorite book. When I wrote a letter to Kit Pearson, I soon received a reply. I told Kit Pearson that her book was amazing and that she should write a sequel. She simply replied that I should use my imagination and imagine what happens next. For the next week or so I kept dreaming
about Norah and Gavin’s adventures. This book really taught me about war guests and changed my opinion about how people felt during the war. This book teaches you yet also entertains you.      


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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.