‘James and I stayed on at home and everything was quiet and sunny and we got to thinking the war would never come after all . . . Just when we were so sure nothing would happen, the German plane came over. It came over one night at one o’clock in the morning and the sound was quite different from an English plane and we all woke up. You could hear it drumming and drumming like a big bee in a flower, buroom, buroom, buroom, round and round in the air above the house. Then suddenly there were five loud explosions. After that there was a terrible silence and I knew that Father and Mother were looking at each other in the darkness and I felt myself getting small and tight inside. Then Father said quietly, “Meg, they must go!”‘
Now I am going to write a Diary because we are going to America because of the War. It has just been decided. I will write down everything about it because we shall be so much older when we come back that I will never remember it if I do not. So this is the beginning. Oh, please let us come back soon, please.’
This is the fictional diary of Sabrina Lind, an eleven-year-old English girl who, with her little brother James, is sent on the long voyage across the sea to her aunt in America.