A Boy Amidst the Rubbleby George W. Porter-Young
A Boy Amidst the Rubble is a tale of war as seen through the eyes of a young boy growing up in the heart of the London Blitz. The author weaves his tale by relating events he experienced during this tragic time in history. The story begins with our main character, Barry, who, along with his family, hears Neville Chamberlain declare over the airwaves that England
A Boy Amidst the Rubble is a tale of war as seen through the eyes of a young boy growing up in the heart of the London Blitz. The author weaves his tale by relating events he experienced during this tragic time in history. The story begins with our main character, Barry, who, along with his family, hears Neville Chamberlain declare over the airwaves that England is now at war with Germany. While young Barry does not completely understand the implications of his country engaging in war with Germany, he soon learns the seriousness of the situation through first-hand experiences.
From erecting a pre-fabricated air raid shelter with his father to hiding out in the shelter during the raids, Barry learns that war is much more than just a game of "us versus them." Throughout the book, one sees how war affects not only young Barry, but every aspect of his once normal life, including his home, neighborhood, friends, family and country.
The death and destruction that the Nazis brought upon England during this time was immense, and this book offers the rare chance to relive this moment through the eyes of an innocent child. Although Barry manages to have a somewhat normal life of a young boy, exploring and playing with his friends, collecting fragments of bombs and shrapnel, and engaging in childhood mischief, he must also learn to deal with situations that many adults do not have to experience until much later in life. After one particularly heavy bombing, Barry ventures down his street only to find the body of his young friend lying dead in front of the vacant lot where his house once stood. Because his father is away much of the time, one can see how Barry grows closer to hismother and other family members for emotional and moral support.
It is not just the nightly air raids endured by Barry and his family that are relived in this book, however. The reader is immersed in the cultural nuances of living in the British countryside in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Lacking an indoor water closet, like many homes from that era, Barry's experiences in the unheated outhouse mirror many a young person's experiences in such a situation. The minimal plumbing in the house also allows one to see just how people survived in this time of history, boiling water for everything from the revered English Tea to heating large kettles for bathing and washing clothes. There is also the rationing of food, which makes such simple things as a chocolate bar a rare luxury for the characters in the book. The inconvenience of food rationing also hits home when young Barry helps himself to large helpings of such restricted items as marmalade and butter.
In spite of the fact that this book was written to allow the reader to see the horrors of war, there is also a softer side to the narrative. The loyalty and respect given to one's elders and family members in this book are often missing in the modern family. The book allows the reader to see that normal corporal punishment, given in moderation, was an accepted practice for disciplining children. Given the state of affairs in the world today, one could argue that this book is also a proposal to return to some of the former child-rearing practices that helped to not only build character, but also to teach the children respect for rules and authority.
As with any remembrance of war, the book gives the reader a rare glimpse into what it is like to live in a country under siege. The nightly air raids, the mornings after cleaning up the destruction, and living in constant fear and uncertainty are just a few of the aspects of living in a country at war that the reader will experience through this book.
While Hitler's invasion of England is the main focus of this book, The Boy Amidst the Rubble could also be described as an anti-war book in general. By focusing on the experiences of a young boy like Barry, one gets to see the negative impact war has on everything it touches without pulling any punches.
- Xlibris Corporation
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)
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What a wonderful book 'A Boy Amidst The Rubble' is. how George and his family survived the nightly bombings of London is beyond comprehension. George W.Porter-Young describes these events in a very rich detail as a 10 year old boy growing up at that time. I couln't put the book down, it is a very easy read. This book is a must for the history reader. Actually its a book for all ages, Thank you George for writing such a wonderful book of your experiences.Everyone should read this account of his experiences during WWII.
We are all drawn to war stories as told by the innocents swept up by madness - if the stories are told right. George Porter-Young tells it beautifully, simply and movingly based on his recollections of London during the Battle of Britain. His entire English family comes to life in this account. And because his father, mother, aunts, uncles, playmates, et al are all richly described, it is hard to leave them - for one never knows what might happen to these amazing people on the next page, or the page after that, until we are assured of their survival at the very end. Expect to finish this book in one sitting.