MemberSeptember 19, 2020 at 8:54 am
It’s 1937 and Baby, an eleven year old street kid of Indian heritage, is wondering if maybe it is time for her and her sister Fingers to stowaway to America at last.
But on a sunny afternoon towards the end of May, a man, as handsome as a movie star, is snooping round ‘The Lillie’, the railway carriage in Nettlefield on the south coast of England where Baby and the other Wonder Girls hide out.
Meanwhile, a little way along the coast, nearly 4000 child refugees from The Spanish Civil War are about to arrive at Southampton Docks. Fifteen-year-old Letitia Minns, from Norfolk, a free-running, maths whizz and would-be doctor, is determined to help out. She wants to save lives like her Bahamian father and grandfather before her. But she gets off the train early, in Nettlefield, the wrong stop on the wrong day. And in spite of her best efforts to help Baby’s sister Fingers after a fall off the railway bridge, Letitia is rubbish at bandaging.
Most of the refugees are taken to a children’s camp, north of Southampton but some, under the ‘care’ of Baby’s handsome snooper, a teacher called Easton Fitzgerald, have already been assigned to the orphanage in Nettlefield. Baby is sure he has something to do with Nettlefield’s infamous Blackshirts, well-organised British supporters of Adolph Hitler with a hot line to the Third Reich. Are they at it again, putting kids in peril and plotting to help Hitler on his way to world domination? And most importantly, have these Nettlefield-bound, frightened Spanish kids jumped from the frying pan into the fire?
Baby and the other Wonder Girls must work out what the fascists are really up to and, to save the lives of the refugees and help prevent a Nazi invasion, persuade Letitia to value what she’s really good at.