Dead End Kids

Publisher: Orchard Books

Review

Closely based on historical fact, Bernard Ashley has created another gripping account of wartime London, and the experiences of its children, providing a welcome alternative view of the Home Front. During the Blitz in 1941 those children who weren't evacuated called themselves Dead End Kids. Left to their own devices, often bored, they were free to misbehave but also to show enormous patriotism and heroism. In Wapping these teenagers formed an unofficial fire service, rushing to quench smaller fires and thereby saving countless lives.

Ashley celebrates these largely unknown heroes, powerfully evoking the era and the setting. He also highlights women's roles in wartime, his main character, 13-year-old Josie, a courageous, determined and engaging girl, the match of any boy.

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