Voices from the Second World War

Over 70 years on from the end of World War Two opportunities to hear first-hand accounts of that time from people who were there are becoming increasingly rare. This book provides us with just such an opportunity mediated by young journalists. The stories they tell are crafted from interviews they conducted with elderly people from Britain, Poland, Netherlands, Italy, Germany and the United States. The collection provides a narrative history of the major events of the Second World War and as each person interviewed tells their story of a world at war the whole builds to become a powerful and emotional experience for the reader.

The stories are divided into chapters which form a timeline of the war and each chapter has an introductory piece accompanied by a carefully selected full page photograph. Written in simple direct prose each interview begins with a brief introduction to the interviewee and is illustrated by photographs of them as they were during the war and as they are today. The balance of historical fact, eyewitness testimony and photographic evidence is perfect for the young historian.

In the hand this book feels sturdy, a reflection perhaps of the courage and strength of spirit shining through the stories it holds. A welcome addition to the literature for children about World War Two, this book is published by Walker Books in association with children’s newspaper First News; a portion of the proceeds will go to support The Silver Line, the confidential helpline for older people in the UK.