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The Machine Gunners
by Robert Westall (more about Robert Westall) 166/62 first published 1975
Historical Fiction for ages 9 to 14 published by Piper
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk
* £3.99, Usually dispatched within 2-3 days
Mrs Mad's humble opinion
9/10 Very good. I am pleased with this.
What happens?
Chas McGill and his friends were always on the lookout for souvenirs of the war; spent cartridges, bullets, bits of bombs or planes. When Chas found the machine gun in the crashed German plane, he knew he had to add it to his collection. So begins a desperate adventure, which puts everyone's life in danger.
Is it easy to read?
Any capable reader should find this an easy to read book. I think teachers looking at this particular era will find it invaluable. Their are some wonderfully descriptive passages.
Anything else?
An accurate picture of life during World War Two; the blackouts, food shortages, the terror of bombing raids and the way people rallied round to help each other. Written with precise knowledge by someone who clearly knows what he is talking about. I found this book fascinating, it reminded me of stories my mother-in-law tells about her life during the war years. Westall easily conveys the despair felt by adults and children, the loss of control in their lives and their tragic struggle to be in charge of something no matter the consequences. Won the Library Association Carnegie Book Award 1975. The story continues in Fathom Five.
Other books by Robert Westall include A Time of Fire, Blitzcat, Break of Dark, Fathom Five, Gulf, If Cats Could Fly, Stormsearch, Yaxley's Cat.
Who says so?
This review by Mrs Mad.
The publisher reckons...
Chas McGill had the second-best collection of war souvenirs in Garmouth - second only to Boddser Brown. But then again, Boddser Brown is pretty unscrupulous and will steal flying-helmets from the heads of dead German pilots. This book won the Carnegie Medal.
And what do you think?
Alex, Bocking
I thought this book was great! It was very exciting, and I thought it was very well written. It is about a boy called Chas McGill who collects war souvenirs. One day he finds a crashed German plane with a machine gun and 200 live rounds of ammunition. Tog
George Brown, St Andrews School, Eastbourne
This is a superb book! I would recommend it for years nine to fifteen. In the book Charles finds a crashed German plane and takes the machine gun. Then he and his friends make a camp and place it in the camp.
George, Rotherham
I like it because it is full of suspense and adventure. I'd give it *****.
hayley, kirkburton middle school
i think this book is brilliant! realistic characters and a gripping storyline. my class have been reading this in english and has made me look forward to go to classes! i think in parts it is hilariously funny!
Johannes Stellwagen, Tiffin
I really like the book because it is very funny and Chas it very imaginative.
me, alice springs
i hated the book
megan, alice springs
i didn't like this book, i found it very very boring. all my friends found it boring aswell!!!!!!!!!! i recomend this book to people who like to learn about the war.
Michelle Maher, Wakefield, MA, USA
The Machine Gunners is an exciting and suspenseful novel, the characters are realistic, and the dialogue is excellent. Chas is a hero everyone can relate to because he is not just a one-dimensional character. He has both friends and enemies, he's sometime
Private, Haydock High School
Well i can't tell you the end cause ive not read upito there yet but what weve read so far is BRILLIANT any child capable enough to read and understand the book should because it is a great,exciting and fun.You think the war EEEEEEEE GRRRRROOOAN DAAAMMN,
liuy, hh
is wicky
Jeremy, Sydney
I didn't really like it, how it was the Polish soldiers at the end!
little lowden, WASSUP
IT WAS ..... AND I HATED IT
Helen Blomfield, St.Stephens junior school in Canterbury
I thought this book was very good, the characters were very emotional, and the book kept me going for a long time but it was NOT boring. I really recomend this book to any one aged 9-14 especially those who are interested in World War Two.
Scott Clifford, Galiwinku
This book is one of the best. with its suprises and adventure through out the book i just have to read it over and over again.
Matt K, Bulmershe
This book is the worst i've ever read!!!!!! I didn't even read the end because it was sooooooooooo bad!!! Just like a bad nightmare, I thought it would never end!!!!!!!!!!
Faiza Rajput, Bulmershe-Woodley
I have not yet read all of the book but i think that the book was not as good as i thought it would.At some points i got bored it and lost my interest.The discription of the World War 2 was pretty good and gave me an idea of what it was like.The part i li More...
Emily, Bulmershe
I have not read all of the book, but it is about a boy called Chas who finds a machine gun and wants to use it to help his country by shooting down bomber planes with the gun.This book has given me a better understanding of world war two,and the descripti More...
omar, bulmershe school
i liked the book the machine gunners because the book is more exciting than other books and the fact that it relates to the war and the way the character Chas is raring to go and find some artrefacts of the war to beat boddsers record of collections but c More...
Luke, Reading
The book í«The Machine Gunnersí» is an interesting, educational book to read. The writer has used descriptive descriptions to give you the impression as if you were there. The writer does this so well that you can picture it in your mi More...
omar, bulmershe school
i liked the book the machine gunners because the book is more exciting than other books and the fact that it relates to the war and the way the character Chas is raring to go and find some artrefacts of the war to beat boddsers record of collections but c More...
Edward, Bulmershe school
I thought that the Machine Gunners was a good read because it relates to the horror of the War and writer shows chas as enjoying this horror in stead of fearing it.It has been a good read.
Liz, Bulmershe
Its about Chas who collects war souvinirs but is beaten by boddser brown. when he finds the machine gun he adds it to his collection and the police get involved and everything goes down hill. I can't tell you the ending because our class hasn't finished i More...
Amy, Bulmershe
The book is about a boy called Chas. He collects W.W.2 sourvenirs and has the second best collection in Garmouth (beaten by Boddser Brown). All this is changed when Chas finds a German plane. But when the police get involved, things are not as simple as t More...
Victoria, Bulmershe School
The book is set in world war 2, it focuses on a boy called Chas. who with the help of his friends he collects soveniers from the war he has competitions with a boy called Barry bodser. We thought the book was very boring and incredibly slow, i think that More...
anisha patel, bulmershe
I thought that the book was very boring and not very good. I think the book is more for boys as it is about war,guns,fighting and action.I only liked Audrey parton because she spoke her mind and she was a tomboy.Ithought Chas was a good character as he wa More...
Mark Taylor, Bulmershe
The book is about a boy called Chas, who collects war souvinirs, like bullets and bits of shell. But one day he finds a machine gun and the police are searching for it. I didn"t enjoy because it was pants and I don"t ever want to read a book as boring as More...
Anne Hothi, Bulmershe School
I didn't really enjoy the book, at times i found it interesting. I think it was more for the boys because it was about guns and things like that.I wouldn't choose this book to read out of school.I think some people would like it, mainly the boys. I migh More...
Kathryn Hutton, Bulmershe school
I didnt really think that this book is very interesting but its worth reading. I think that the book is really more for boys because it was a about guns and the kind of subject that boys like. The biggest problem of the book is that it lacked excitement More...
aaron susans, the bulmershe school
I think that this book is a boys book mostly because it is about machine guns, dead germans and the war. I think other boys will like it but not many girls will like it.
anisha patel, bulmershe
I thought that the book was very boring and not very good. I think the book is more for boys as it is about war,guns,fighting and action.I only liked Audrey parton because she spoke her mind and she was a tomboy.Ithought Chas was a good character as he wa More...
Joel Upton, Bulmershe School
This book is very instresting, it starts off quite boring but when it gets going you can't stop reading. I have read this book once before and now i'm reading again with the school. This is one of the only books that I have enjoyed reading in school. I li More...
Sophie, Bulmershe
I thought the book was interesting but not that good. I think it is more for boys because it has alot of action to it and fighting. It is worth reading it though if you are in to that kind of stuff. The only person that i quite liked was Audrey Parton bec More...
Gladis Haytrip, Bulmershe
This book is a good read for people interested in the war. It had adventure, excitement, and danger. It is also quite educational aswell. Chas is a curious youth who collects bits & bobs of war souvenirs, with his friends Cemetary and Audrey. and stumbles More...
Amanneet Gill, Bulmershe school
I didn't really find this book that interesting, I think it is more for boys. I didn't really enjoy it that much and it lacked excitment but i'm sure other people would enjoy it. But it wasn't really a book i would choose to read.Overall I think it would More...
chris pickett, bulmershe reading
I thought thgat the book was very good and a very easy book to read. It was a very interesting book to to read and i suggest that you get yourself a copy i am reading it with the school at the moment and we are all reading as the different parts which is More...
paul maycock, reading
i dont really think that this is a very interesting book and i found it a rather bit boring and it was not as good as past books i have read by Robert Westall. Hopfully good old Robbo can bring can bring out a few craking books, ho ho. I found a few of More...
john wheatley, Bulmershe
I think this book is ok, It is an intressting book that involes the reader through the dialog and brilliant discriptions! I really recomend this book! I give it 7/10
chris jones, bulmershe
i think that this book is average.I think that the story line is too predictable so because of this i would have to say that this story is not enjoyable to me.the story started interesting but after a while it gets boring because i think it drags on i wou More...
Dom, Reading
I feel that i cannot comment on the book yet as i have not read that much of the book.I think this book was rather good from the start but then i kind of lost interest as there was no action involved. Also my good fellows at my QUALITY school agreed with More...
Ben Frodsham, Bulmershe
this book is trougally interesting in one word i would describe it as fantastic it is very interesting and compells you to read on it is spitefully a cracking read a one of robert Westals classics and great hits i give it 10 out of 10
phil, bulmershe
i liked this book because it is very exiting and funny.It always got another thing lurking around the corner making it very mysterious.Sometimes it can be a little long winded and having to much desciption in it making it a little boring.
james lewis, bulmershe
i think this book is a very average book. i dont think it has a very good story line because it is too obvious wots going to happen.the story doesnt attract my attention becaue it is plain and boring. i mean , wot is interesting about reading about a boy More...
natz, bulmershe
i thought the book was very interesting but when u read it at school with your class it can seem very boring if some people cant read very well or read slowely. i would have liked it better if i read it by myself so one day i will. i havent finished readi More...
James dawson, Bulmershe
I think that its a very interesting book but can be to long winded and is a very truthful but not as good as roldaldph
Jack Dee, bulmershe
I think the book was total Rubbish. It totally bored me out. The program was also a pile of old rubbish.
Darren Morrison, Reading
This book is Superb. The text is amazing and there are a wicked range of words and metaphors. I would recommend this book for anyone, any age. In one word, simply fantastic and fun. For example, the book is about a machine gun, which is always exciting.
Antonio de Floya, Manila
Utterly AMAZING. I automatically began in-depth reasearch about Garmouth and wartime coastal England. In my opinon, this book has everyhting a great book needs. 10/10!
jonathan orelue, hillel academy
the book the machine gunners was so wicked i wish i had internet to come this web site again
Rachel, Bindoon
This book was an exciting read and I have learnt so much more about the war and the effects it has on young children like myself. We ahev been reading it in class and now we are drawing a map of the area with all the streets, woods, etc. It"s really hard More...
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