270. Prisoner of Dieppe by Hugh Brewster

Prisoner of Dieppe: World War II, Alistair Morrison, Occupied France, 1942 by Hugh Brewster (Canada) - (US)
I Am Canada, 1882

Pages: 222
Ages: 12+
Finished: Dec. 11, 2011
First Published: Sept. 1, 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Canada
Genre: YA, historical fiction, Canadian Author, WWII
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

"You're the new Limeys, eh?"

Acquired: Received a review copy from Scholastic Canada.

Reason for Reading: I'm reading the books in this series.

This is Hugh Brewster's second book in the series and once again he breaks form by writing in chapters rather than in journal format.  He also sets his story up again as an elderly person writing back about their experiences, in the first person, rather than an as-they-happen-format as we are used to in the Dear Canada series and the first book I read in this series.  I do prefer the epistolary format but Brewster is a formidable writer and this novel is excellent.

Set up as a grandfather finally setting down in words what happened to him in the war from his training, his part in the failed Canadian attack on Dieppe, and his subsequent time as a POW at the hands of the Germans.  He's writing this solely for the eyes of his grandson, who has an interest in history and who is now also the age he was when he went to war.

Brewster has written non-fiction books on the topic and extensively interviewed veterans who survived Dieppe so while his story and main characters are fictional, the events and information are based on truth and actual happenings.  He has also included a host of true life characters as he explains in the note at the back.  I'm recommending this book for older readers (12+) than the others of this series as it deals with the war experience realistically and is intense while also including some harrowing moments.  The book is not overly graphic but some descriptions are certainly not for the young or the squeamish and the main characters are at least in their late teens.  A compelling, fast-paced, dramatic and sobering story of the heroism and defeat of war.  Recommended!


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