Under a War-Torn Sky by L. M. Elliot

Under a War-Torn Sky

Written by L. M. Elliot

13+ readers   11+ readers   The World Wars   
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Winner of the Borders Original Voices Award for Best Young Adult Book

Henry is just nineteen, and a long way from home. He’s one of the many thousands of young American pilots who came to Britain during World War 2 to fight the Nazis. As the book opens, he’s about to undertake his fifteenth mission – the average life span of an Eighth Air Force Bomber crew is only fifteen so it’s a make-or-break flight. Things don’t go well and Henry is shot down over Alsace. From there he relies on the bravery of the French people, Resistance fighters and civilians, who help him to get home. It’s an extraordinary story, very well told, all the more affecting for being based on the real life stories, including those of the author’s father. ~ Andrea Reece

A Piece of Passion from the editor, Sarah Stewart Under a War-Torn Sky was one of the first books I worked on as an editor when we published it ten years ago, and its incredible, gut-wrenching depiction of life behind enemy lines has stuck with me ever since. It is a gripping adventure that pulls no punches; you are right there rooting for Henry at every step of his impossibly dangerous journey across Europe. And what makes it all the more vividly real is that L.M. Elliott was inspired by true stories of her father’s experiences of World War II and researched the book exhaustively. I am thrilled that this stunning new edition will bring Under a War-Torn Sky to new readers, and I hope that you enjoy it just as much as I did!


Under a War-Torn Sky by L. M. Elliot

Shot down on a mission, 19-year-old pilot Henry is alone in a treacherous land. Desperate to get back to his family and the girl he loves, he is forced to rely on the cunning of the French Resistance. But in his battle to survive the deadly journey across Nazi-occupied Europe, he must face a terrible choice: can he take a life to save his own?

Published to mark the 70th anniversary of VE day.


'Searing and gripping' - Glenfield Gazette

'The dramatic opening pages of this adventure-packed novel propel the reader into the war-torn skies of Europe in 1944... full of danger, terror, surprises and tenderness' - Teaching and Learning

“It’s packed with action, intrigue, and suspense, but this novel celebrates acts of kindness and heroism without glorifying war. Small details add both credibility and appeal to this gripping adventure.” Booklist

“This is a gritty, unblinking look at the horrors that the Nazis visited upon France during the occupation. Readers with an interest in warfare and adventure will find a sure
winner here.” School Library Journal

“Based on real life… Searing scenes of destruction and hatred are balanced by selfless acts of kindness.” The Bookseller

“A really excellent read…one of the most successful in making me feel what people sacrificed during the Second World War… Under a War-Torn Sky is an excellent and thought-provoking book.” Write Away

“This book is full of danger, terror, surprises and tenderness.” Teaching & Learning

About the Author

L. M. Elliott works as a senior writer for the Washingtonian magazine. Under a War-Torn Sky was inspired by her father's experiences in World War II, and his stories of the courage and self-sacrifice of the French Resistance.

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Book Info


320 pages
Interest Age: 12+


L. M. Elliot
More books by L. M. Elliot


Usborne Publishing Ltd

Publication date

1st April 2015




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