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About the book
  • Published: 23 July 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143569138
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $22.99
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The Story of Billy Young




A powerful account of one of the youngest-ever prisoners of war, by award-winning author Anthony Hill.

Billy Young was a boy of fifteen when he joined the AIF in 1941. He was an orphan – hungry, broke, with nowhere to sleep – and the army offered him a feed, a blanket and five shillings a day.

Then the army sent him to Malaya where he became a POW when Singapore fell to the Japanese. 'Billy the Kid' spent his remaining teenage years in Japanese prisons: he escaped from the notorious Sandakan and spent time in solitary in the barbaric Outram.

Billy survived by a combination of luck, larrikin humour and cunning, learned as a market boy growing up in Sydney during the Depression. He has lasted into old age by virtue of his extraordinary spirit.

A powerful account of one of the youngest-ever prisoners of war, by award-winning author Anthony Hill.
Praise for The Story of Billy Young

'Hill writes beautifully . . . and the story, brutal in parts as it is, should never be lost.' Daily Telegraph

'A fascinating and historically significant read – one that deserves widespread acclaim.' Burnie Advocate

'The Story of Billy Young will bring tears to the eyes of many readers . . . an important first-hand account of a painful chapter in Australian history.' Ballarat Courier

  • Pub date: 23 July 2014
  • ISBN: 9780143569138
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Anthony Hill

Anthony Hill is a multi-award-winning, bestselling author. His most recent book for adults, The Story of Billy Young, was published in 2012.

His novel Soldier Boy, about Australia's youngest known Anzac, was winner of the 2002 NSW Premier's Literary Award for Books for Young Adults. His most recent children's book, Captain Cook's Apprentice, won the 2009 NSW Premier's Young People's History Prize. It follows Soldier Boy, Young Digger and Animal Heroes as further testimony to his remarkable ability to extensively research historical material and, from wide-ranging sources, piece together a moving and exciting story.

He is also the author of two novellas, the beautiful Shadow Dog, and the award-winning The Burnt Stick, illustrated by Mark Sofilas, as well as the picture book, Lucy's Cat and the Rainbow Birds, illustrated by Jane Tanner.

Anthony lives in Canberra with his wife, Gillian. Their daughter, son-in-law and grand-daughter, Emily, live in Melbourne.

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