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The Week at World's End

Written by Emma Carroll

Key Stage 2 Key Stage 3 Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on The Week at World's End

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

The hotly anticipated new standalone from the bestselling and award-winning Queen of Historical Fiction, Emma Carroll.

Britain, 1962

'Who are you?' I asked. 'You don't know who I am? You mean, it's not been on the news?' The girl glanced from Ray to me and back again. 'It's better I don't tell you,' she said firmly.

Nothing ever happens in World's End Close. So when Stevie discovers a runaway girl in her coal shed, the first thing she does is fetch her best friend, Ray. Both are dying for a bit of adventure, and when the girl begs for help, they readily agree. Yet they soon realise they've taken on more than they bargained for. The girl, Anna, reveals she's on the run from people who are trying to poison her. Meanwhile, on the news, the Americans and Russians are arguing over missiles in Cuba. As the threat of war grows, Anna's behaviour becomes more mysterious. And when Stevie unearths a dark family secret, she wonders if Anna has come to World's End Close on purpose, with a special message just for her . . . An enthralling thriller, perfect for our tumultuous times. 

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

Book Information

ISBN: 9780571364435
Publication date: 2nd September 2021
Author: Emma Carroll
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 320 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3
Topics: Historical Fiction

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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