Winning Year: 1941
Author: Mary Treadgold
Title: We Couldn't Leave Dinah

Original Publisher: Cape
Current Publisher:
Out of print

It's the summer of 1940 and the Templeton children are on holiday. The threat of invasion hangs over the island of Clerinel (a fictional Channel Island.) Hitler's armies have conquered France, and now some of the Islands are under Nazi occupation. Will Clerinal be next, with its long deep inlets in which to hide away U-boats and its perfect position for launching an invasion of Britain? Meanwhile, for the Templeton children there is the Pony Club election to organise, more coves to explore and hills to ride across.

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Mary Treadgold was educated at St Paul's Girls School and Bedford College, London. She worked in publishing, first with the firm of Raphael Tuck and afterwards as Heinemann's first Children's Editor. She describes how she received "a staggering number of manuscripts about Ponies and Pony Clubs - a few, a very few, outstanding, the majority quite frightful. This was September 1940 and not being a knitter or caring for the sound of falling bombs, I occupied myself relatively painlessly in the air-raid shelter with trying to implement my own verdict, 'I could do better myself!'" So she wrote We Couldn't Leave Dinah in an air-raid shelter during the London blitz.