Which book is my daughter remembering?
January 28, 2012 10:37 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone help my 8 year old daughter remember a particular children's book that made an impression on her? I don't have much to go on, but the story seems to revolve around a boy (and possibly a dog) who live in a village(?) at a time when bombing is happening (suggesting WWII?). The boy spends a lot of time watching trains (skipping school to do so) and dreams of going to his grandmother's house until he eventually runs away on one after some problems at home (possibly involving the police). While on the train he meets a family *on the top*(?) of the train and befriends a girl who is like a servant/slave to the family. She thinks she read it in the last year or so and I guess it would be appropriate for her age. Any ideas what the book might be? Thanks in advance! (note that I suspect the book is by a British author)
posted by oclipa to Media & Arts (9 answers total)
Time Train to the Blitz? It came out in 2010 and the author is British.
posted by jabes at 10:58 AM on January 28, 2012

Yes, Time Train to the Blitz keeps cropping up in the search, however she is adamant that there was no time travel involved....
posted by oclipa at 11:20 AM on January 28, 2012

I've not read it (so can't vouch for all the details) but could it be The Railway Children?
posted by hot soup girl at 11:28 AM on January 28, 2012

No, not The Railway Children, she is certain that the main protagonist is a single boy - thanks though.
posted by oclipa at 11:40 AM on January 28, 2012

Vinnie's War?
posted by Fairchild at 1:38 PM on January 28, 2012

People on top of the train, a servant/slave girl, and a British author all suggest India to me.

Not much help, I'm afraid.
posted by Bruce H. at 5:47 PM on January 28, 2012

When I was a child, I enjoyed inventing stories but was embarrassed to admit having made them up myself, so I pretended I was relaying stories I had read in books. (I have absolutely no idea how prevalent that behavior is.)

I'll also note that slaves and bombs seem more likely to feature in a child's imagination than in an adult's effort to write a book for children.

Just in case you think it's possible that this is what's going on, in retrospect I wish someone had modeled for me the perspective that creativity is not something to feel embarrassed about and that storytelling is not a childish hobby.

(Of course, now that I've posted this, give it an 85% chance that somebody links to "The Slave Who Blew Up A Train" and your daughter gets to laugh in my face.)
posted by foursentences at 7:16 PM on January 28, 2012

I don't think this is it, but there are many similarities to Goodnight Mr. Tom: WWII, a boy, a village, a train, the police were involved, there was even a dog. It's a great book for a middle school reader, but probably too intense for an 8 year old.
posted by kbar1 at 8:25 PM on January 28, 2012

Thanks again all.

foursentences - I don't think she has invented the story, as it was some homework from school to write about her favourite book that seems to have prompted her to remember this particular book.

Bruce H. - I agree that meeting someone "on top of a train" does bring to mind an indian background, although I would have thought she would have remembered if it was set in a foreign country (maybe not though).

With regard to Goodnight Mr. Tom and Vinnie's War, she doesn't recognise either of these as the book in question - sorry.
posted by oclipa at 3:45 AM on January 29, 2012

« Older Need Short Story to Write About   |   Inconvenienced by landlord - is it ridiculous to... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.