This true story of survival, determination, and incredible luck will lift your spirits and inspire you to never give up on your dreams!
SOME PEOPLE ARE BORN LUCKY. Others make their own luck. As a boy, Hank wanted nothing more than to fly like the fighter pilots he admires in the skies over Amsterdam. When the lives of Dutch citizens are turned upside down with the Nazi occupation of Holland, his dreams will have to wait as he witnesses the tragic unfolding of events affecting those around him before finding himself in a fight for his own life. He must go into hiding before his sixteenth birthday despite the fact that he is not Jewish.
After the war, his life takes another unexpected turn when he is enlisted by his father in the American Army in Germany where his inability to speak English results in hilarious missteps at every turn. He can roll with the punches if the Army will teach him to fly, but when he learns that pilot training stopped with the end of the war, it seems he'll never reach his goal.
Undaunted, Private Hank evolves into a suave and popular soldier. He learns what it means to be American, arriving in America broke but determined to pursue his lofty goals in a manner only this quirky and very lucky Dutch-American would even think of trying, flying by the seat of his pants to some of the highest levels of aviation. [downloadable bookcover]
Melissa Guzzetta has owned The Computer Tutor Training company since 1998 and has always been an accomplished writer in the technical field, though recently, she has expanded into writing memoirs. She also founded Good Luck Publishing in 2014.
★★★★★ Reader's Favorite:
"Melissa Guzzetta and Hendrik C. Gillebaard's non-fiction autobiography, Private Lucky: One Man's Unconventional Journey from the Horrors of Nazi Occupation to the Fulfillment of a High-Flying American Dream, is one of those memoirs that's such a good read that it often seems like it's fiction. I had to remind myself several times that I was actually reading the author's life story. I was instantly captivated by what Gillebaard had to share. While I've long been a student of the Second World War, I wasn't all that familiar with the effects the Nazi occupation had on the Dutch people, and seeing those grim and frightening times through Gillebaard's eyes was a powerful and moving experience. As I continued reading of his adventures in the military and then as a pilot, I was struck by his resilience, his resourcefulness, and his sense of humor. If you're going to read one set of memoirs or autobiography in your lifetime, make it Private Lucky. You might find yourself wondering why you haven't been reading books in this genre all along. This book has something for everyone, and it's beautifully written as well. Private Lucky is a remarkable story, and it's most highly recommended."
~ Jack Magnus
"Ms. Guzzetta gave a superb, interactive presentation at our branch exactly a year ago this month and I can highly recommend her for giving a presentation at your branch."
"Private Lucky comes out of the gate establishing a fascinating, hilarious and determined tone that catches the readers eye and doesn't let go. Immediately we find that Hank is a man whose life is filled with adventure. His story is certainly worth telling and I warn you now, you will have trouble putting this book down. I thank him for his honesty and I applaud Guzzetta for telling it." ~ Allie's Opinions [read full review]
$16.72 Softcover Book (includes tax, shipping & handling - US Residents only)
Also available on Amazon and in Kindle Edition
Article: San Clemente Times Newspaper
"That is certainly a remarkable string of circumstances that Hank survived, and you wove the tales together nicely. This is a very different type of World War II "veteran" story and quite a testament to being grateful for the opportunities that this country affords."
Amazon Reviews from Readers:
"I agree with Private Lucky that it was "pluck" (courage or resolution in the face of difficulties) that got him through his amazing life. Melissa captured the tale in such a realistic way, I thought I was sitting with Hank hearing him tell the story. Thoroughly enjoyed reading every page!" ~ S.M.
"Buy this book and read it aloud at your next family reunion, before your family members in the Greatest Generation can tell their tales no more. I'm certain that it will spark discussions that you will enjoy as much as your elders will enjoy being heard." ~ P.C.
Our Reader's Reviews
“It arrived only yesterday, and today I sat down with the intention of reading a chapter or two. I could not put the book down! I completed the entire book in one sitting! (We old pilots are a sucker for any story about “bootstrap” pilots!) Congratulations on your first publishing effort. Well done!”
~ Jim Cavender, United Flying Octogenarians (aka UFO) Executive VP