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Exiles from the War: The War Guests Diary of Charlotte Mary Twiss is the twenty-sixth book in Dear Canada, a historical fiction series by Scholastic Canada. It was written by Jean Little and is her fourth entry in the series. The book was published in February 2010 and was followed by To Stand On My Own by Barbara Haworth-Attard.


"This story is for Charlotte Mary Langridge. Born January 15, 2008. Tuesday's child is full of grace. And for Madison, Sidney, Natalie and Azlin."

Book description[]

"September 25, 1940
I can hardly bear to write this. It is by far the worst thing yet. Today we heard that a ship called the
City of Benares, which was bringing more British children to Canada, was sunk and a lot of the people drowned. More than eighty children died! It sounded like Jane's nightmare about being lost on the ship, only it was not a dream.
It was real. Every time I remember, I feel sick. I wish I could not see it in my mind.
After midnight
I think George has enlisted. I am not positive. I didn't dare stay on the stairs once I heard Mother start to cry.



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of Exiles from the War characters


Main article: Jean Little



  • IODE Canada Violet Downey Recommended List (2011) - commended[3]
  • Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People (2011) - short-listed[4]
  • Red Cedar Award, BC Young Readers' Choice (2012) - short-listed[5]


"The publisher wishes to thank Dr. Helen Brown of Vancouver Island University, author of "Negotiating Space, Time, and Identity: The Hutton-Pellett Letters and a British Child's Wartime Evacuation to Canada," published in Letter Across Borders: The Epistolary Practices of International Migrants, for sharing her expertise. Thanks also to Barbara Hehner for her careful checking of the factual details."
"I have so many people to thank for help with this book that I am sure I am going to leave someone out, but I am deeply grateful to those I name below and to anyone I might omit.
First of all, my thanks go to Sandy Bogart Johnston, the editor of the Dear Canada series. Her patience, humour, insight and editing skills are phenomenal. I am also grateful to Diane Kerner, who read Charlotte's diary with intelligence and enjoyment. Thank you, too, to all at Scholastic who work hard to make this series so appealing.
My sister, Pat de Vries, not only helped with research but often came to my rescue when I was stuck or grew discouraged. My niece, Robin Little, found me song lyrics, movie titles, information on sulfa and the Blitz and so much more. Elizabeth Bristowe supplied me with helpful details about Britain in 1940-41. She also spotted some of my mistakes.
Sheila Stephens read the manuscript and assured me I was on the right track. Her daughter Jenny helped me with research and made me taste Marmite. I, like Charlotte, was unimpressed.
Barbara Hehner was, as usual, a godsend to a blind author who is prone to making glaring and tiny errors.
Dr. Helen Brown was extremely perceptive with her critical comments, enthusiasm and useful facts.
These folks also upheld me and kept me straight: the staff at the Guelph Public Library, George and Ethel Hindley, Betty Lou Clark, Pat McCraw, Jenny Rodd, Mary Hockin and Claire Mackay.
I am grateful, as well, to the authors of books no previously mentioned that provided me not only with facts but with feelings: Geoff Bilson's
The Guests of War, Hester Burton's In Spite of All Terror and P.L. Travers's I Got By Land, I Go By Sea–I read it when I was a teenager and it moved me and started me imagining what it must be like to be exiled from home become of a war.
Thank you, one and all.


  • The portrait on the cover is photograph of Christine Cann courtesy of Steve Cann. The background is a photograph labelled Bristol at war 1941 and provided by Paul Townsend.[6]


See also[]

Dear Canada

Orphan at My Door | A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | With Nothing But Our Courage | Footsteps in the Snow
A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Whispers of War | Alone in an Untamed Land | Brothers Far from Home | An Ocean Apart
A Trail of Broken Dreams | Banished from Our Home | Winter of Peril | Turned Away | The Death of My Country
No Safe Harbour | A Rebel's Daughter | A Season for Miracles | If I Die Before I Wake | Not a Nickel to Spare
Prisoners in the Promised Land | Days of Toil and Tears | Where the River Takes Me | Blood Upon Our Land
A Desperate Road to Freedom | A Christmas to Remember | Exiles from the War | To Stand On My Own
Hoping for Home | That Fatal Night | Torn Apart | A Sea of Sorrows | Pieces of the Past | A Country of Our Own
All Fall Down | Flame and Ashes | A Time for Giving | These Are My Words

External links[]