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Children's Fiction Military & Wars

Wings of War

by (author) John Wilson

PRH Canada Young Readers
Initial publish date
Jun 2014
Military & Wars, War & Military, General
Recommended Age
10 to 18
Recommended Grade
5 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2014
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


A boy-friendly book set during World War One, published for the centennary of the war and accompanied by a digital component to boost interest from the school and library market.
     It's the early 1900s and Edward Setten is growing up in the prairies fascinated by his uncle, who is one of the very first people in Canada to pilot a plane. Despite his mother's protests, Edward learns to fly and, when war breaks out, joins the Royal Flying Corps. In this fast-paced and gripping novel, Edward's coming of age takes place in the most extraordinary of circumstances.

About the author

John Wilson was born in 1951 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He did his early growing up on the Island of Skye and in Paisley, near Glasgow. From 1969 to 1974, he attended the University of St. Andrews where he took an Honours B.Sc.. in Geology and never played golf once. He took a position with the Geological Survey of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). In his two years there, he mapped rocks, dodged land mines and watched the country sink ever deeper into civil war. Shortly before he was due to be called into the army, John retreated back to Britain on his way to the safety of Canada. He settled on Calgary where geology was booming and the only danger was freezing to death in January. In 1979, he moved to Edmonton to take up a post with the Alberta Geological Survey. In 1988 he sold a feature article to the Globe and Mail. This fueled a smouldering mid-life crisis and he took up freelance writing full-time. With some success, John mined the experiences of his travels for articles, journalism and photo essays. He even began to express himself poetically and, with a young family, began writing children's stories. He moved to Nanaimo and then Lantzville on Vancouver Island. John has been widely published by a number of Canadian presses, with his acolades including a shortlisting for the Governor General’s Award.

John Wilson's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for John Wilson:
   • "This riveting look at the Civil War . . . has the power to shock and to compel young readers' interest while uncovering exciting history for them. Wilson writes a tension-filled story packed with appalling events that really happened. . . . This engrossing novel leaves an enduring impression." --Kirkus Reviews 

   • "Teen fiction rarely gets so involved with notions of morality in war. A thoughtful, provocative work." --Booklist 

   • "Wilson has crafted a compelling story that seamlessly incorporates key events in American history. . . . This sense of connection with the past that Wilson's story inspires is one of the novel's strongest features. Recommended." --CM Magazine 

   • "[An] engrossing, vivid and even horrifying read that cannons into the United States' bloody 1860s. . . Offer[s] some startlingly resonant moments for his adolescent audience." --The Globe and Mail

Other titles by John Wilson