From School Library Journal
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Accessible to even the most reluctant reader. We live through Charlie's home life, recruitment, training and battle experiences including the Battle of the Bulge. It all paints a vivid picture, you almost feel you are experiencing it. --Primary Times
This account of one RAF man's war fits perfectly with imaginative illustrations, many of which are a collage of real war memorabilia. The glossary is a mini history in itself. A most attractive book which informs through both the story and the pictures. -- Carousel
An easy, interesting read that's helped by the visual presentation of the information. Children can get lost in the book, hardly realising how much they are reading - and learning. -- Junior Education Plus
The book is presented in the style of a scrapbook journal. The typed wartime 'flight log' gives us a personal voice and provides a narrative drive which makes the story compelling and coherent...The illustrations with their speech bubbles play a huge part in the success of the book. The combination of a strong line and often vibrant colors brings the experiences vividly to life. There is immense variety in how each double spread is designed. Interesting contemporary ephemera, including magazines, comics and playing cards, bring information and variety. Manning and Granstrom's books nearly always have school relevance and this one would enrich enormously primary school children's studies of the Second World War. The combination of a riveting personal story, much general information about the war and a detailed glossary make this an excellent resource. and reading it could lead to young readers exploring their own family histories for stories that should never be for! gotten. -- Books for Keeps
When Manning was a boy, his father would tell tales of his days as a tail-gunner in the Royal Air Force during World War II. The author and illustrator of Viking Longship (2007) and What Mr. Darwin Saw (2009), this husband-and-wife team offers a highly illustrated account of Manning's father's wartime experiences, based on remembered stories, interviews, and research. Beginning with ration coupons and Civil Defence activities, the story heats up when Charlie Manning joins the RAF and becomes a tailgunner, flying combat missions until badly wounded. The picture book is an unusual format for tales of combat, but Manning and Granström use it very effectively here, illustrating the story in large drawings with watercolor washes as well as captioned cartoon-style panels and collage elements. Written in firstperson, the main text appears in diary-like entries on civilian and RAF notebook pages, while speechballoons add additional comments. A glossary is appended. A short but vivid presentation of one man's war.-- Carolyn Phelan --Booklist