Ghost of Heroes PastBook - 2010
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On the night before his fourteenth birthday, Johnny Anders has an unusual dream – a dream in which he is taken back in time to meet the ghosts of some real-life Canadians who were involved in dangerous, deadly work during the two World Wars. He observes Commando Tommy Prince’s daring rescue of a small group of ambushed French Resistance fighters and Nurse Joan Fletcher’s courageous struggles to bring hundreds of wounded civilians through the dense Indonesian jungle to safety. He witnesses Bill Chong’s near-capture in his work as a British spy in World War II Hong Kong, and flies with fighter-pilot Raymond Collishaw as he brings yet another German plane to the ground. Johnny is present when a group of courageous nurses stand in front of some helpless invalids to shield them from armed Japanese soldiers invading a war hospital. He sees the vicious trench warfare of World War I, as well as boats being torpedoed in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.
Charles Reid’s story brings Johnny and the reader to a new interest in, and understanding of, our nation’s war heroes – heroes who were ordinary Canadians, both men and women, acting with great courage to save others even when they were very afraid. Loosely based on Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol (in which Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by ghosts), Ghost of Heroes Past is believable because the story is based on real people, facts and events. (In fact, London, Ontario author Charles Reid was able to interview British spy Bill Chong while conducting his research.)
The result is an intriguing book that reveals the courage, resilience and selflessness of its heroes - as well as the death and dehumanization of war.
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