While the Storm Rages


September 1939. Britain is on the brink of war. As Noah Price’s dad marches off to fight, he asks his son to honour one vital promise: that he will keep their dog, Winn, safe. No matter what. Noah agrees, but his best intentions are crushed when the government advises people to have their pets put to sleep as part of the war preparations. Children are heartbroken, queues outside vets’ surgeries stretch for miles. But Noah is a resourceful and impetuous child. He won’t just do what he is told. Far from it. With his two friends in tow, he makes a pledge. To go on the run, and save as many animals as he can, whatever the cost. So begins the most thrilling of adventures, involving a stolen ark, a motley crew of animals and a crashed Spitfire. Can Noah possibly save the animals, and lead them all to the promised land?

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While the Storm Rages is the eagerly awaited new novel from the bestselling author of When the Sky Falls: The Times Children’s Book of the Year, winner of the Books Are My Bag Readers Award for Children’s Fiction, winner of the British Book Award for Children’s Fiction Book of the Year and shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.September 1939. The world is on the brink of war. As his dad marches off to fight, Noah makes him a promise, to keep their beloved family dog safe.When the government advises people to have their pets put down in readiness for the chaos of war, hundreds of thousands of people do as they are told. But not Noah. He’s not that sort of boy. With his two friends in tow, he goes on the run, to save his dog and as many animals as he can. No matter what.

‘While the Storm Rages’, by Phil Earle, is the story of a two boys, a girl, two dogs, two cats, and a very hungry python. Its 1939, and the War has arrived. Noah’s Dad leaves to go to war, and he asks Noah to keep Winn, their dog, safe. But when the government advises that people have the pets put down, he knows that he has to save Winn. He takes her to the dog’s home, but they are full, and cannot take Winn. But, just as his hopes are lost, he hears about the Duchess, who loves animals and might just take Winn in. So he sets off, with his friend Clem, and her dog Frank, in his Dad’s old boat. Along the way, they are joined by Big Col, their old school enemy, and his ravenous Python, Delilah. Will they make it without being caught, or eaten…

I loved this book. The author really writes in a way which lets the reader empathize with the characters. The suspense that he puts in definitely makes the reader feel like they are in the place of Noah, or just that they are on the boat as well. The descriptive language is also very well done, giving a vivid description of the landscape, and the action. My favourite section was the one where they rescue the two kittens. The description of the situation is very expressive, and the sense of action is really exciting. I like the contrast between Big Col and Noah, the first not caring, and the second desperately needing to do something to help. I also like the way that the characters develop over the whole story. At the beginning, Clem is unsure and very much led into the drama by Noah, but over time, Clem becomes the mastermind behind the plot. Big Col is also an interesting character. At the beginning he thinks he is the boss because he is the biggest and owns the snake. But by the end, he is a much nicer person and knows to listen to the others. I would recommend this book to people who like animals, and adventures. Anyone can read this book, adults and children. Whoever the reader is, and whatever they are interested in, this book would be a great read for them. James, Mostly Books Youth Ambassador

Additional information

Weight 0.305 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 × 2.3 cm










Paperback original


823.92 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K