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The Great Escape was the most daring and meticulously planned prisoner-of-war breakout of the Second World War. Yet not many Canadians—least of all children—know the heroic story of Wally Floody, a Canadian airman imprisoned in Stalag Luft III, who was a key figure in digging a set of sophisticated tunnels. Now acclaimed children’s writer Barbara Hehner has penned a gripping action-adventure that tells Floody’s incredible story, and how he eventually became the consultant for the movie The Great Escape.

Packed with the kind of details kids love—like the fact that the prisoners built their own radios from empty cookie tins, or how the tunnels were shored up using 4,000 boards from the prisoners’ beds—The Tunnel King also provides an informative and dramatic Canadian context to the Second World War. Written in a lively style infused with Hehner’s obvious passion for her subject, this is a book that kids will devour.

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