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Street Boys

by Lorenzo Carcaterra

Two hundred abandoned children take on a crack Nazi unit to save their home city of Naples and almost succeed. Although at times verging on the barely credible, this is a gripping story, with a high body count and very detailed violence.

Extract

'I've never fired a rifle before' the boy said, his voice unable to hide the frail nerves. 'I hope to shoot something besides myself.'
'Aim at the ones wearing uniform,' Vincenzo said to him, patting his leg. 'And keep on pulling the trigger. After that it's as much luck as skill.'
'I've never killed anyone either,' the boy said.
'You weren't supposed to,' Vincenzo said, looking into his eyes. 'Neither was I and neither were those Germans out there. But if they don't fight they'll die. And so will we. My grandfather used to tell me that we don't choose our life we just live it.'

The explosion sent them sprawling on the damp ground.

Parallels

Monte Cassino by Sven Hassel
The Firefighter by Francis Cottam
 

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