Robert Westall Echoes of War

ISBN 13: 9780374319649

Echoes of War

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A collection of five short stories examines the lingering repercussions of war on the lives of young people

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 7-10-- Here are five stories that, as the title implies, explore the devastating effects of war. In one of the strongest entries, "The Making of Me," a boy at first fears, and then comes to understand, his strange, violent grandfather, a veteran of World War I. The old man, shell-shocked from his wartime experiences, has a profound effect on the person his grandson becomes. The other four stories all deal with World War II in England. All of the selections make heavy use of British slang, and this may be a deterrent for many Americans. Westall also assumes that students will have fairly good grasp of World War II history as it relates to England. References to the Home Guard, British fears about a German amphibious invasion, the RAF, and "the Last Lot" may be puzzling to some readers. Still, the stories should hold the attention of those who have an avid interest in warfare, and World War II in particular. --Bruce Anne Shook, Mendenhall Middle School, Greensboro, NC
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Westall explores the idea that war's effects are felt far from the battle and continue long after the war has passed. In ``After the Funeral,'' a pilot on a quiet mail run suddenly finds himself amid a spectral fleet of bombers; a young wartime beachcomber with a shirtful of ``Gifts from the Sea'' comes upon a woman's corpse; in ``The Making of Me,'' a forbidding old man sharing his war memories sparks his grandson's fascination with ancient history; Bill, 14, is wonderstruck when he meets a reclusive painter, ``Adolf,'' and his cats Hermann and Heinrich; and the men of Birsby struggle to control ``Zakky,'' a teenage Polish refugee who is burning to kill Nazis. With the apparent simplicity of the writing masking the underlying emotion, each story has a mild, quiet air that makes its moment of revelation even more dramatic. As always, Westall's appeal is deep if not broad. (Fiction/Short stories. 12-16) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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