Bomber by Paul Dowswell
  

Bomber

Written by Paul Dowswell

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Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month May 2015 Young New York born US serviceman Harry Friedman signs up for the United States Army Air Force determined to fight for justice for fellow Jews. Still only 17 he is soon a member of the crew of a terrifying B-17 bomber. From the first moment he arrives at the UK base in August 1943, it is clear that the missions he will be on are deadly dangerous. And so they are. When Harry’s plane is shot down he is saved by those working in the French Resistance. Paul Dowswell brings the courage, the fear and above all the camaraderie of the young service personal engaged in the deadly missions of dropping bombs on Germany vividly to life. ~ Julia Eccleshare

***Find out more about the research and inspiration behind Bomber here.

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Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2015 -

Spotty Lottie and Me by Richard Byrne

Bomber by Paul Dowswell

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

What the Jackdaw Saw by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt

Poppy in the Field by Mary Hooper

Soon by Timothy Knapman

Synopsis

Bomber by Paul Dowswell

One in five never returned.

Every boy dreams of flying, but in war that dream can turn into a nightmare. Harry Friedman is the gunner of the Macey May, an American Flying Fortress stationed in East Anglia. The Second World War is raging and the Nazis have swept over Europe. The crews of every Flying Fortress face terrible odds on their bombing missions. To make it through alive, Harry will need luck on his side and courage . Courage to keep going when he has watched close friends die. Courage to confront a terrible evil. And the courage to make it home from deep behind enemy lines. Nail-biting tension and compelling storytelling combine with Dowswell's meticulous research to deliver a page-turner for fans of John Boyne, Morris Gleitzman and Marcus Zusak.

Reviews

Praise for AUSL NDER:

'He is a brilliant historical novelist. Dowswell shows us a side of Nazi Germany rarely seen ... a heart-stopping read' Sunday Telegraph

'A superlative, at times almost agonisingly compelling, piece of historical fiction ... The climactic escape to freedom is pure muck-sweat tension' Financial Times

Praise for SEKTION 20:

'A great thriller with a poignant historical background ... A terrific book' Bookseller

Praise for ELEVEN ELEVEN:

A teenage book of the year Independent

About the Author

Paul Dowswell

Paul Dowswell cemented his position as one-to-watch in the world of children’s historical fiction with his much-acclaimed WWII novel, Ausländer. Throughout all of his fiction, Paul weaves meticulous research into thrilling narrative that will engage young readers.

A former senior editor with Usborne Publishing, Paul Dowswell is now a full-time author. He has written many non-fiction titles, two of which were shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award. Powder Monkey, his first novel, was published to huge critical acclaim. Ausländer was shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Prize and the Red House Children’s Book Award. He currently lives in Wolverhampton with his family.

Paul on his inspiration for Cabinet of Curiosities:

The Cabinet of Curiosities is set in 16th Century Prague, during the reign of Rudolph II. Lukas Declercq, fleeing the Inquisition in his native Ghent, arrives in the city in 1598 to be apprentice to his Uncle, court physician Anselmus Declercq.

Seeking company away from the staid confines of the castle, Lukas is drawn to the excitement of the city’s darker side. He becomes an unwitting pawn in the battle to control what people are permitted to say and think. (Here the story shares some ground with my previous book Ausländer about a teenager in Berlin during the Second World War.) Ultimately, Lukas learns how to make his own choices between
right and wrong, and that the answer is rarely clear-cut.

The idea behind the story was inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s fruit ’n’ veg portrait Vertumnus, of Rudolph II. A culture which produced something so magnificently strange and original sparked further investigation.

I visited Prague and the Castle whilst researching the book. Woodcuts and engravings from the era show that much of the city remains from Rudolph’s time. The contents of his Cabinet of Curiosities – an extraordinary collection of mechanical and scientific instruments, specimens, paintings, and relics – are well documented. Four huge rooms contained everything from astrolabes and orrerys to Dürer’s famous watercolour of a young hare, and, supposedly, nails from Noah’s Ark and feathers from a phoenix. Much of the Cabinet was scattered to the four corners of Europe when the Castle was looted by Swedish Troops in 1648 during the 30 Years War. A fraction remains in Prague. The rest can be found in museums and art galleries around the world.

Rudolph was plagued throughout his life by severe depression – all the more reason to admire his open mindedness, tolerance, and passion for art and science. In a Europe haunted by the Inquisition, his Prague was an oasis of free-thinking where Catholics, Protestants and Jews lived side by side. Here, natural philosophers could investigate and share their knowledge of the newly-emerging sciences without fear of being executed as heretics. This was an age, after all, where an astronomer could be burned at the stake for stating that the Sun was at the centre of the Solar System rather than the Earth. In his patronage of alchemy and fascination with the world, Rudolph was an early champion of the Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century.

Photo credit David Rann

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
288 pages

Author

Paul Dowswell
More books by Paul Dowswell

Author's Website

www.pauldowswell.co.uk/

Publisher

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publication date

7th May 2015

ISBN

9781408858493

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