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The Enemy at Close Quarters
ISBN 1844017400 / 9781844017409 / 1-84401-740-0
Publisher Athena Press
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The place is a farm on the Isle of Man, the time is the Second World War. A boy looks down from his retreat in the hayloft and goes rigid with fright. There are German soldiers in the farmyard. How could the 'hated Nazi' be standing on his homeland? Fortunately, Pete learns that these men are not occupiers but prisoners of war just like the Italian internees he meets later. This is his story. How does he cope when his uncle orders him to supervise the prisoners in their tasks of potato gathering and corn harvesting? Should he be friendly towards them or treat them with suspicion and hostility? Immediately we are drawn into his world, a world where children have to grow up quickly and take on adult responsibilities before they are completely prepared. Through his eyes, we experience at first hand the dilemmas and challenges of a wartime childhood. [via]