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Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today

Review

Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today

This collection of stories, told by survivors of World War Two, is a poignant look at what life was like during that time period. Each of the people who tell their story experienced the war, first-hand, in some manner. Some of them were small children at the time, too young for school. Some of them were older children. Some of them were young adults who were pilots or soldiers in the war.

A group of school children interviewed many of these survivors, preserving their memories for future generations. The stories were originally published in England. Each person provides their own memories and perspectives on the war and how they lived/dealt with it.

"It was interesting to read so many different personal accounts from this horrendous war. It was especially interesting to read how different people reacted to the same circumstances."

The book is broken down into 16 sections, each highlighting a different area and time frame during the war's progress, starting with The Outbreak of the War and ending with The Fall of Japan. An abundance of black-and-white photographs are used to highlight the individual stories. A Subject Index, an Index of Interviewees, a Glossary and a page of Photography Credits are all available at the end of the book.

It was interesting to read so many different personal accounts from this horrendous war. It was especially interesting to read how different people reacted to the same circumstances. In one section, one person tells how being able to buy things on the black market made life a bit more bearable when everyday things --- like sugar and nylon stockings --- became hard or impossible to find. Another person, whose story is told in the same section, was very critical of those who bought things on the black market, saying no respectable person would use the black market. Obviously, not everyone felt the same way about the same things.

Stories range from just two paragraphs to more than 10 pages in length. All of the stories offer a glimpse into the personal life of the individual storyteller. Some of the stories are very well told, while others are a bit disjointed or rambling. One man's story of being a soldier during the war is not only very detailed, it is rather graphic and bloody. All together, they present a picture of what living through a war is really like.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on March 26, 2018

Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today
by Candlewick Press