There have been thousands of books written about World War II. These books have been produced globally, by authors around the world from various backgrounds. Out of all of them, one that really grabbed my attention was Spitfire Summer.
This may look like an unappealing, old-fashioned book with its drab cover, high volume of text and few pictures. However, it is nevertheless a great book for history enthusiasts, especially those interested in World War II.
Don’t be fooled by the title. The book isn’t dedicated solely to Spitfire and RAF pilots, it is dedicated to the people of Britain and the Commonwealth. Those who helped Britain survive the darkest days of World War II and those who both survived and perished during what is known as the Battle of Britain.
The book gives us a brief story about how World War II started, discussing the Munich crisis, Germany’s invasion of Poland and Germany’s defeat of France, one of Britain’s closest allies. It then goes on to discuss the famous evacuation of Dunkirk.
The book also tells us about the lives of the British people who were caught in the middle of a seemingly never ending downpour of bombs, the heroic pilots who fought off any German plane that dared to enter Britain’s skies and the brave sailors who fought off any German ship that dared to challenge the Royal Navy.
In order to produce this book, the author gathered a lot of memoirs and stories from various people, including soldiers, pilots, sailors, civilians and even a child who kept his own diary throughout the Battle of Britain.
This book really captures the true horrors of the War. Mothers losing their children, soldiers trying to survive a bullet storm, sailors fighting for their lives aboard a sinking ship and pilots dancing through skies littered with bullets and planes.
However, it’s not solely about trying to convince us how terrible the War was. The book also gives us an insight into the lives of the British citizens during the War, both the regular civilian groups and those who joined the Home Guard. They were lucky to have Winston Churchill as their Prime Minister. A man who kept the morale high during Britain’s darkest days, with his outstanding leadership and inspiring speeches.
The reason I enjoyed reading this book wasn’t only because of my keen interest in history, but also because of the personal stories in the book. The book an easy read, however my one criticism is the lack of pictures within the book.
In my opinion, all teens should read this book, mainly because I think nowadays not enough of my generation really care about history. I think this is sad because we can learn a lot from the past. However, I’m not going to force other teens to read it of course.
The book also has great reviews from the historians and war veterans who read it, who especially praised the narrative.
So please just try this book, I promise you won’t regret it. And if you’re still not sure, even after everything I’ve told you, just remember it was published by the Imperial War Museum. Now these guys have a good reputation for publishing quality books.
Happy reading everyone!
About the author
Hi, my name’s Ramadhian Anka. I’m currently a 17-year-old second grade high school student and my current EF level is FR 15. My favorite subjects are biology, chemistry and history. My favorite sports are badminton, chess and cycling (not extreme off-road cycling though!) I’m really interested in anything related to World War II or aviation. I also enjoy playing video games. My favorite video game is Ace Combat.