When The Wind Blows



Cover of this title
When The Wind Blows
Raymond Briggs

This graphic novel explores the event and aftermath of an atomic attack on Britain focusing on an elderly couple.

Upon hearing of the acute threat of an atomic attack by the Soviets, the elderly British couple Jim and Hilda Bloggs start building a fallout shelter following instructions on a government leaflet. When the strike takes place they flee to what they believe is safety. Nevertheless, they start feeling the effects of radiation sickness the progress of which is graphically described in the book. The way Jim and Hilda start dying and still act naively ignorant towards the situation going on with their daily life creates an absurd and cruel feeling of helplessness.

It’s a powerful book with poignant images that can be used for showing how these events affect the individual making it eerier but more relatable.
Despite being a graphic novel, it’s not very well suited as a children’s book.

· · 1982

Critical edition

Raymond Briggs. When The Wind Blows. Penguin, 1986. 48 pp., ISBN 9780140094190

Jump to further sections

In favour of this entry

  • Addresses current affairs
  • Democratic and political education
  • Explores historical contexts
  • Interdisciplinary or cross-curricular teaching

Adapted as

  • Audio drama
  • Film
  • Play
  • Song