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We Were Young and at War The First-Hand Story of Young Lives Lived and Lost in World War II by Sarah Wallis, Svetlana Palmer

We Were Young and at War The First-Hand Story of Young Lives Lived and Lost in World War II


The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. The diary of Anne Frank remains the most famous child’s diary of all time, but there were other children caught up in the Second World War and some of them wrote diaries, too, equally as powerful. In these letters and diary extracts from sixteen teenagers across the world, children of the Axis as well as the Allies, a poignant picture emerges of bravery and fortitude emerging from abominable privation. One of the diarists, Yura Ryabinkin, died of starvation in the siege of Leningrad, left alone in his family’s flat to die because he could not walk. These are an unforgettable and moving testament to the horrors of war.


We Were Young and at War The First-Hand Story of Young Lives Lived and Lost in World War II by Sarah Wallis, Svetlana Palmer

Never before have the diaries and letters of young people from all sides of World War Two been woven together to provide an account of what it was like to grow up amidst the daily struggles and horrors of this devastating war.We Were Young And At War follows the stories of sixteen teenage boys and girls who write with a disarming directness about their reactions to and experiences of a very adult war. They are British, French, American, Japanese, Polish, German and Russian, each with a unique and heart-rending tale to tell.Only two of them are alive today. Some of them fought and died in the war, others starved to death; many were separated from their families. All were forced to grow up quickly, their lives changed beyond all recognition by their experiences.This is their story.

About the Author

Sarah Wallis was born in America and moved to Britain as a child. She finished her degree in Russian and German the year the Berlin Wall came down. Sarah has worked on several major historical documentaries including the BBC series People's Century, the RTS award-winning Homecoming, and the Channel 4 series The First World War.Svetlana Palmer was born in Moscow and has lived in Britain since 1990. She has worked on acclaimed historical television series including the Bafta-nominated The Cold War, the award-winning The Second World War In Colour and Channel 4's The First World War.This is their second book together. The first, A War In Words: The First World War in Diaries and Letters was published in 2003. They both live in North London.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th May 2010


Sarah Wallis, Svetlana Palmer

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Collins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


352 pages


Second World War
Diaries, letters & journals
General & world history



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