Closer to the Stars
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I think we all go through the stage of thinking that all history is exclusively British. It must be the way it is taught. Here's a chance to do your bit to rectify the situation; this book concerns World War II from the other side of the world, where young Australians are being trained as pilots. It also embraces the less well covered subject of a young lad squaring up to the fact that this older sister is expecting an illegitimate child, much to the open disapproval of the neighborhood. The tone is sentimental at times but the characterisation is strong and there is a distinctly positive underlining of the waste of life that combat entails, forcefully emphasised by the Hawk/Victim image that begins and pervades the book, and by the two old war-horses, Curtiss and Perce who influence Paul, the lad, in way direct and indirect. Certainly worth a copy or two in lower Secondary libraries.