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  • Writer's pictureNadia Giordana

Faces of Boys, Hearts of Men: An English Lad’s Stories Before, During and After World War II

World War II started in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland—one year later, London would be at the very center of the war. This time in Europe’s history is woven into the story so readers can understand how these events affected Charlie and his family’s life forever.

Since age seven, Charlie attended a prestigious boys’ school, but tragedy struck at age fifteen. He left the prominent school to help his mother cope with the loss of his father. While living in London, he joined the Home Guard. There he witnessed death and destruction at the hands of the Nazis. The bombings by the Nazi planes profoundly affected Charlie, especially during the “Blitz.” The Blitz was the fifty-seven days and nights when London was bombed relentlessly by Nazi planes.

The most impactful event happened on Charlie’s 17th birthday in 1940. Charlie was standing in his backyard in London when a Messerschmitt Me 109, German aircraft, came out of the sky. The German aircraft dropped to five hundred feet off the ground, and one second later, Charlie watched in amazement as a British Supermarine Spitfire pursued it. This was Charlie’s defining moment—it was the moment when he decided to serve his country as a Royal Air Force pilot. MORE: Coming soon to Amazon.

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