Book Choice

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Blitz Kids: The Children’s War Against Hitler

by Sean Longden

Recommended by Kevin McRoberts

MY TEENAGE son had been reading this book. I picked it up, flicked through it, and eventually gave him it back after I’d read it from cover to cover.

It’s packed full of incredible stories of the heroism and courage of British children during the Second World War, told in their own words.

There’s children talking about living through the Blitz on London’s streets and the Clydebank bombings, a girl guide who won the George Cross and the horrors of being a child captive in a German PoW camp. There’s boys who sailed with the Merchant Navy – an 11-year-old who survived for two days in water after his ship was sunk, and a merchant seaman sunk three times by the age of 17 – and youngsters who ended up on the front line.

Their stories, told to author Sean Longden, many of them revealing the horrors of their young lives for the first time, are amazing, horrific, tragic, occasionally humorous, but told in such a way that those involved believed what they were going through was just the way life was, that their experiences were nothing out of the ordinary. But they were … and that’s why it’s such a compelling read.