The Children Who Stayed Behind
by BRUCE CARTER
C. Walter Hodges
First published as:
The Kidnapping of Kensington, by Hamish Hamilton 1958
Published by Puffin Books 1964
My edition 1964
Imagine a seaside town, Brighton for instance silent and deserted except for two families of children. With shops, hotels, restaurants, even the pier and its amusment arcade open for exploitation. Surely such a state of affairs must be every child's dream of delight. It certaily suited the wild Foulshams as they switched on all the fairylights and spent the nights roaring around on the Dodgems and the Ghost Train. And even the more sober Hartfords would have got a ot of fun out of coping with life on their own, if it weren't for their fued with the Foulshams, the barbed wire, the empty gun emplacements and the ominous thought that the rest of England was probably being invaded while they were simply using an armoured car to recapture Kensington, their abducted white rabbit.
But life took on a more serious turn when Gillian was put to sea in a boat without oars, and the children had to rescue two pilots who had been shot down in a dog-fight.
The author has got all his detail perfectly, even to the exact way Jeremy and Sammy get up steam in the old engine, Rob Roy, and set out to take their wounded roaring off to London, and all of his characters really matter, including that confounded white rabbit - Kensington.
My Puffin Books