Tea Time with Annie Kate Rotating Header Image

Review: Fly Boy by Eric Walters


At seventeen, Robbie McWilliams had enough of waiting to fight the Nazis.  His pilot father had been prisoner of war for a few years now, and it was time to join the Royal Canadian Air Force and help end the war.  With a great deal of ingenuity and with the support of his friend Chip, he fooled his mother, his boarding school, and the RCAF, and entered training to become a pilot.

It was a tough world for a seventeen year old, but he aced his classes and was chosen to become a navigator, not a pilot. He was sent immediately to England to complete his training on frightening missions.  Not only his skills as a navigator were tested….

This fast-paced story for 11 and up is a favorite at our house, even for older teens and their mother.  Despite the subject matter, it is upbeat, funny, and encouraging, a hero story that warms one’s heart and leaves one refreshed and motivated.

School teacher/author Eric Walters slips in worthwhile little tidbits about the stupidity of gambling and drinking, about the value of learning and putting in the effort, about courage, bullying, and getting along with people, about loyalty, and, of course, about death.

We recommend Fly Boy as a good read as well as an excellent supplement to Canadian history studies.

This book forms part of our multi-year, literature-based Canadian History course . This review is linked to Finishing Strong , Trivium TuesdaysSaturday Reviews, Booknificent Thursdays, Literacy Musings Monday, and The Book Nook.

Disclosure: We borrowed this book from the library and I am not compensated for this review.


  1. Sunshine says:

    Thank you for the review and recommendation! My grandfather flew with the RCAF in WWII, but didn’t like to talk about it much. Maybe this book will give me some insight into what that might have been like for him. I am eagerly looking forward to your post with more information about how you do your multi-year Canadian history course. 🙂

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Oh, Sunshine, I suspect it will give you some insight, right from training through to bombing and facing death. I am so thankful for men like your grandfather; my parents and in-laws were children in Nazi-occupied Holland and were freed by the Canadians.

      And guess what was on my to do list for today? To work on an article about how we plan to study Canadian history this anniversary year. I’ll be sure to explain a bit about how the whole literature-based Canadian history course works for us. So hopefully you won’t have to wait too long.

  2. Kathleen says:

    I am purposing to be more mindful in Sept/Oct with our general reading – like adding this book to our guided reading list – in preparation for Remembrance day when I am often looking for ways to give the day more context and meaning. Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *