Set in the throes of the Second World War, this book recounts snippets of recollections of events and of people that both scarred and inspired a young boy growing up in this troubled time. It is humorous and quirky, as we look at the adult world and its interpretation through a boy's eyes, as well as deeply moving and poignant, as we see lives torn apart by the bombing raids, the 'lost in action' telegrams, and the personal tragedies that occurred at every turn. It offers glimpses of the harsh livings conditions of the time - the rationing, the poverty, the evacuation of children, the camaraderie, the Yanks coming, the appalling acts perpetrated by teachers in the name of education and the simple pursuits and pleasures of youngsters at the time - what child these days would be thrilled to receive a length of coloured string and a yo-yo for Christmas or dribble at the thought of Spanish rhubarb? As, these days, memories of the war seem more and more distant, and to younger generations it becomes increasingly the stuff of action films - fiction, fantasy and thrills, rather than the grim, hard reality that it actually was - Urchin draws the reader into the real world of the Blitz, from a viewpoint that is often overlooked - the perspective of a child, a child who witnessed the atrocities of the adult world, a world that he feared and of which he never wanted to become a part.

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