Eric Walters has published several Second World War novels for young readers

With regard to the Small Arms Doors Open, I was delighted to learn recently that Eric Walters has written several books for young readers dealing with Canada’s role in the Second World War.

I’ve known of Eric Walters for some time. He made one or more presentations at Munden Park Public School in Mississauga during the years that I worked there as an elementary teacher.

If I recall correctly, Mike James, who’s organized several Jane’s Walks with me in Long Branch (Toronto not New Jersey) in recent years, has known Eric Walters for many years. Mike worked as principal at Munden Park during the last several years when I was teaching there.

Recently a Grade 8 student told me how much she enjoys reading books by Eric Walters. She suggested I read some of them myself, and I’ve followed up on her suggestion.

The books that I’ve recently borrowed from the Toronto Public Library include:

Shell Shocked (2009)

Camp X (2002)

Fly Boy (2011)

Eric Walter began as a Grade 5 teacher

Here’s an introduction to Eric Walters from his website:

  • It all began in 1993 when Eric was teaching a Grade 5 class. His students were reluctant readers and writers and Eric began to write to encourage them to become more involved in literature. His first novel, Stand Your Ground was created for this class. It is set in the school where Eric was teaching, Vista Heights Public School, and some of the features of the community of Streetsville and many of the names of his students were incorporated into the story.

Sir William Stephenson

I was interested to learn that Camp X (2002) is dedicated to the memory of William Stephenson.

A post entitled The True Intrepid: Sir William Stephenson and the Unknown Agents (2001) provides some background about him.

I’ve also discussed William Stephenson in a post entitled Evil Men (2013).

Eric Walter’s dedication to Camp X (2002) reads:

  • This book is dedicated to the memory of Sir William Stephenson and the men and women who served and trained at Camp X. These very ordinary people came together to do something extremely extraordinary – they helped to save the world.

The books, which are based upon extensive research, are written for young people and are equally of value for adult readers.

Update: Camp-X documentary

A July 13, 2014 article is entitled: “Camp X: A WWII training camp turned secret-agent school in Whitby, Ontario.”

The article notes:

  • Through a series of interviews with historians and war veterans, Camp X explores how the inventions, training and tactics to come out of the Canadian base played a key role in the Allies’ war efforts and how it shaped the CIA, along with some of pop culture’s greatest secret agents.
  • Written and directed by Alex McIntosh, one of Camp X’s best qualities is how it goes about showing the global significance of North America’s first secret-agent academy. Instead of focusing solely on the brick and mortar, McIntosh’s documentary spends as much time talking to historians about the school’s training programs and facilities as it does on the first-hand accounts of Camp X veterans and undercover operatives who used its training throughout the war.


An Oct. 28, 2014 CBC article is entitled: “Eric Roberts, MI-5 spy, lived quiet life on Salt Spring Island, B.C.: Declassified documents reveal amateur historian was key agent in WWII.”

A Dec. 31, 2014 CBC podcast is entitled: “Anne V. Hereford’s secret code-breaking work at Bletchley Park in WWII.”

A Jan. 2, 2015 Oxford University Press blog post is entitled: “Misunderstanding World War II.”

Germany, Hitler, and World War II: Essays in Modern German and World History (1995) is a useful resource.

Also of interest: Extremely Violent Societies: Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century (2010).

A Nov. 20, 2015 New York Times article is entitled: “WWII Hero Credits Luck and Chance in Foiling Hitler’s Nuclear Ambitions.”

An Aug. 24, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Mortar found near Second World War spy school in Oshawa: Man with metal detector found it in Intrepid Park, former site of Camp X.”

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