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Battle of Britain: Harry Woods, England 1939-1941 (My Story) [Paperback]

Chris Priestly
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 April 2002 My Story
OCTOBER 1940 I was out, free of my aircraft, tumbling wildly in the air. I pulled the ripcord. I was jerked back by the parachute as air punched into it and I swung there like a puppet, winded and gasping for breath. I looked down at my leg. It felt like a bear was gnawing on it but it was still in one piece. For now, anyway. Then I heard it-right behind me. An Me 109 diving towards me, guns blazing. There was nothing I could do. Nowhere I could go. Shells whistled past me on either side. I just thought, OK then. if this is it, OK. Maybe my turn had finally come...

Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic (19 April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439994233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439994231
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 13 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 648,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Priestley worked as an illustrator and cartoonist for twenty years before becoming a writer. His books have been nominated for many awards including the Edgar Awards, the UKLA Children's Book Award and the Carnegie Medal. The award-winning and critically-acclaimed Tales of Terror series for Bloomsbury feature chilling stories rooted in the tradition of M R James, Saki and Edgar Allan Poe and are available in many languages. Mister Creecher is a novel inspired by, and linked to, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and his latest, Through Dead Eyes, is set in a haunted hotel in Amsterdam.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Sometimes I can't remember a time when I didn't have the roar of engines or the rattle of machine-guns ringing in my ears. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book! 11 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my 10 yr old son and he hasn't put it down since it arrived. It IS intended for children and I would recommend it to anyone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Fictional History Book 1 Dec 2012
By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
One of my jobs as a librarian in a primary school, is to find books that will entertain and enthrall reluctant readers, most of whom, in our school, happen to be boys. This series of books, about factual events, but told from the point of view of fictional characters, is a godsend. This book, about Harry Woods, a young man trained by the RAF to be a Spitfire pilot, and who flies in the Battle of Britain, is fantastic. The chapters are short but well written. The material is sensitively handled. There is a real sense of being in the historical moment as you read. The descriptions of the missions is lively and exciting, but also emphasises the horror of the reality as well as the excitement of the dream of flying. The factual sections and photographs at the back of the book are well chosen and help to bring the story to life. It is very impressive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great twist to the Battle 14 Dec 2011
This one's my favourite one yet of the series. I have never read about the Battle of Britain before, not from a RAF and aircrew perspective anyway. I am ashamed to say that I have never even considered pilots who fight in battles before this, because the focus is usually always on those fighting on land.

Chris Priestley's style of writing is great. It was very amusing, very entertaining, very evocative and poignant, and most importantly...very real. He knew how to get us attached to Harry, to his family, to his friends, to Lenny especially - and he was able to successfully accomplish this in very limited space. Add to this the historical context, and the knowledge that is gained by reading this.

I found the Moby-Dick part hilarious, and the German soldier part at the end extremely depressing. And the concept of war being honourable reminded me of one of my favourite poems "Dulce et Decorum est" by Wilfred Owen during World War I. In this poem, Owen refers to the old age lie, "Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori" - meaning, it is a sweet and fitting thing to die for one's country.

On a separate note, reading the historical section at the back of the book, they included the nationalities of aircrew involved in the Battle of Britain, and how many of them were killed throughout. I was very surprised, and proud, to note that there was one Palestinian pilot, who took part in this battle. As I am a Palestinian myself, I found that to be of extreme interest.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish 19 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Avoid this if you want to read anything meaningful.

This is a kids book and really it isnt worth much at all
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars battle of britain fiction 22 Feb 2011
a most disappointing book,from its front cover it gives the impression of being a true story, which it is not. I can only describe this book utter rubbish.
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