Nina Bawden, the author of 48 books including the children's story Carrie's War, has died at the age of 87 at her home in north London, her publisher has said.
Her son, Robert Bawden, and her publisher, Virago, said that the writer died surrounded by family.
One of Bawden's last books, Dear Austen, followed the Potter's Bar train accident in 2002, which killed her husband Austen Kark. Bawden was also badly injured in the crash.
A statement said: "Nina Bawden died quietly this morning, August 22 2012, at home in North London with her family. She was 87 years old."
Bawden's most famous children's story, Carrie's War, published in 1973, was based on her childhood evacuation to Wales during the war. The book was a Phoenix Award winner in 1993.
Circles Of Deceit, one of Bawden's novels for adult readers, was shortlisted for the 1987 Booker Prize.
The writer's publisher at Virago, Lennie Goodings, paid tribute, saying Bawden was writing days before she died.
"Nina Bawden was a gently fierce, clever, elegant, wickedly funny woman," she said. "She wrote slim books but they were powerful and extraordinarily acute observations about what makes us human.
"I think she was especially good on what goes on behind the facade of good behaviour. She was a wonderful storyteller and she was writing to the end. With the help of her son, Robert Bawden, she finished a piece on growing up in the 1940s for a forthcoming Virago anthology just days before she died."
Bawden's other books, seen as modern classics, include The Peppermint Pig, The Runaway Summer and Keeping Henry.