I became a passionate reader as a young child. My mother told me that “books are your friends” and I totally believed her. I now have tons ‘friends’ on my shelves. I still love reading books that are written for children and youth and I recently discovered a terrific one called “September 17”. Here’s how it happened…..
In August I attended a writer’s workshop in Perth with instructor Amanda West Lewis. She lives in the area with her husband, Tim Wynne-Jones who is also a well known author. Amanda is a dynamic and generous teacher and I totally enjoyed all the material and exercises she shared.
She recently completed the book “September 17”, based on a true event and real people that took place in 1940. It’s a wartime story of of ninety British children who were being secretly transported to the safety of Canada on the ‘City of Benares’ steam ship. Tragically the ship was torpedoed. This dynamic story is told primarily through the eyes of three children , Ken, Bess & Sonia. The story behind and events of the September 17 attack are compelling and inspiring.
Before reading this book, I had no idea that such an event had taken place. It was a fascinating way to learn about this unique part of wartime history. I highly recommend the book as a great holiday gift item for a youth 10 years of age or more. Actually, I’d recommend that you buy it in enough time to read it yourself, then gift it to your favourite young person. Just watch our for coffee stains!!
Since reading the book I have looked online at some background information about the “City of Benares” tragedy. Click on these links for a wee bit of background info. I’ve also attached a link to ‘goodreads’ for a synopsis and reviews.
We’d love to have your feedback on this article and event. If you already knew about this story – please tell us how you found out. We find it hard to believe that we knew nothing about this. We certainly knew about children being evacuated from London due to the bombing – but we thought they had merely headed to the rural areas that weren’t being bombed.