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Behind Enemy Lines: A Young Pilot's Story (Sterling Point Books) Paperback – April 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Updating a small-press title called Beyond the Dikes (2000), this offering is the only autobiography in the ongoing Sterling Point history series. In his twenties during the events recounted here, DeMallie details the aftermath of a mission to Nazi Germany, when the bomber pilot was forced to jump from his damaged B-17 into occupied Holland. There, he was aided by the Dutch Resistance, captured by the SS, and held in a German POW camp. DeMallie spends too long on the opening logistics of training and shipping out, and his occasional, dated slang (Gee) may initially stall readers. All the same, once that crippled engine starts shedding oil in a steady oozing of black blood, the adventure picks up significantly, delivering some unforgettable episodes of wartime drama and tragedy—including the horrific plunge of a crewmate whose parachute failed. A heartfelt endnote concludes. Offer this Greatest Generation memoir to readers considering military service, and they will appreciate both the candidly portrayed dangers and the clear sense of purpose DeMallie found in his Air Force role. Mattson, Jennifer
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 990L (What's this?)
  • Series: Sterling Point Books
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; Updated Ed edition (April 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402741375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402741371
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Alicia Van Hecke VINE VOICE on February 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a fascinating personal account of a U.S. Air Force pilot who took part in the B17 bombings of Germany in 1944 and was shot down over Holland and spent the rest of World War II in a POW camp in Germany. He wrote it specifically to honor the Dutch who took care of him at great peril to their own lives.

It was a particularly interesting read after being acquainted with Hilda Van Stockum's The Winged Watchman as locations and situations are very similar.

The narrative is simple and understated (and very REAL), but you can imagine the voice of a grandfather sharing his adventures and impressions with the young people of today. He wrote a sketch of his adventures in a notebook while he was a prisoner of war, but pieced them together for publication only in the last decade, after making some interesting reconnections with his past.

Violence and a few choice words make this most appropriate for seventh grade and up. It is a particularly fast read (extra-wide spacing also helps!) making it a good choice for older reluctant readers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Uncle Meat on July 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My father flew as a B-17 radio operator in the same outfit noted in this book. From his recent discussion with me, he said he recognized many of the names and places mentioned and had first hand knowledge of some of the events. He (and I )also said he was lucky to be alive, flying some 30 missions over Europe during WWII. He seemed to really enjoy reading this book that I gave him on father's day. Now if I can only get it back for a little while to read it myself...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William G. Howes on May 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A first person look at the underground in Holland during WWII and how they helped downed allied airman who had been shot down. Theauthor is hidden from the Germans but they eventually caught him and tortured his protectors. He spent the rest of the war in a P.O.W. concentration camp. After the war he tracked down the people who had helped him and found them all alive and well. A great story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa K. Hydock on July 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my 15yr old son, who loves anything to do with piloting, airplanes, and WWII. He has thoroughly enjoyed this book! I would certainly buy this if you're looking for a quality, easily read book.
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Behind Enemy Lines: A Young Pilot's Story (Sterling Point Books)
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