Set in 1918 at the end of First World War, Young Digger is the fictionalized story of a small orphan boy, named Digger who wandered into the Australian airmen’s camp in Germany on Christmas Day. The novel tells the story of how Digger became the airmen’s mascot and of his journey home with them to Australia. Though the novel is written for young adults, its touching story of hope and love will appeal to older readers as well.
The novel brings the reader on an amazing journey as the Australian airmen smuggle Digger from Germany, through France and finally home to Australia. Digger captured my heart from the start. He’s a young orphaned boy with a personality that makes you laugh, cry and share his joy. He gets into all the mischief you’d expect of a young boy, but in such a way you can’t help but smile at his actions. I love how the author managed to make Digger come alive on the pages.
Whenever I read a historical novel I expect details. Lots of details! It’s those little things, the attention to detail, that makes the past come alive for me, and Young Digger did this in spades. There were so many interesting tidbits that were worked into the story—my favorite being Digger’s stay in Mons and his visit to the cemetery. What I really loved was how the author managed to work in these details without bogging down the story.
I was really excited when my Australian friend gave me this book. I’ve read very few novels set during World War I, and the ones I have read were from an American’s point of view. To be able to see the war from a different perspective was fascinating. One other aspect I loved was the use of photos in this book. I stopped reading more times than I can remember to flip through the pictures, picking up on new details in them each time as I got further and further in to the story. Words are powerful. Pictures can be priceless. The two together were awesome! If you can get a copy of this book, it’s worth the read! You won’t be disappointed.
Also, be sure to check out Anthony Hill’s website. There’s a lot more information there! Stay tuned! Friday I’ll be posting the interview I did with Anthony.