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The tragedy of World War One continues to appal and fascinate readers and there is a wealth of literature and non-fiction books to enlighten and educate.
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The grounds of a country house in the summer months of 1914 provide the setting for Emma Carroll’s spooky novella and she uses it to explore themes of growing understanding and the awful, looming threat of war. Brought together after an accident puts him temporarily into a wheelchair requiring someone to push it, Leo and Fran form an upstairs-downstairs friendship. Fran is unsettled by a series of strange, seemingly supernatural coincidences that seem to be warnings of things to come, while Leo is obsessed by events in Europe and what they may lead to. Their different worries merge in a deliciously spooky scene where the two young people encounter the ghosts of an Anglo-Saxon army, something they interpret as a warning of what is to come; sure enough, the story concludes with the announcement of World War I. Despite a sense of foreboding, we know that their friendship will endure and feel certain that, whatever happens, the future will hold good things for both. Emma Carroll is one of our foremost authors of historical fiction for children and creates a tangible sense of the tension of those summer months as well as an appealing, believable set of characters. Published by Barrington Stoke, the book is accessible to all readers, including those with dyslexia, and highly recommended.
November 2020 Book of the Month | The Silent Stars Go By is a riveting read-in-one-sitting experience driven by compelling characters who leap off the page, not least the young woman at its heart, an unmarried secretarial student who’s forced to give up her baby during WWI. The novel is also underpinned by a superb sense of social history, with evocative details of post-war village life nestling within the bigger story, and - as might be expected of the author of Things a Bright Girl Can Do - it’s threaded with feminist themes. It’s 1919, Christmas is on the horizon and two years have passed since nineteen-year-old Margot was forced to give up her baby for her parents to raise as their own. She was only fifteen when she and Harry fell madly in love ahead of him being called up. The magic of their time together is evoked in all its tingling passion, contrasting with Margot’s present-day torments. It hurts when little James calls her mother “Mummy”, and she doesn’t know how she can continue to keep James a secret from Harry, who’s returned to the village after recuperating on the Isle of Wight. The flashbacks to Margot’s time on the maternity ward are particularly poignant and, of course, the reason she has to endure this unbearable situation is due to the fact that she lives in a world in which “the girl is the one whose honour is defiled or whatever rot they spout” whereas “the boy is just being a boy”. Coupled with that wider context, Margot’s vicar father is a man who “forgave drunks and tramps and fallen women and the men who tried to steal the lead from the church roof. But he couldn’t forgive her.” Realising that “things couldn’t go on like this,” Margot decides to confront her fears amidst the rare glamour of a ball on New Year’s Eve. You can find more wintry & festive stories in our Best Books for Kids this Christmas collection.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Award 2022 ages 7-10 | Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2020 | September 2020 Book of the Month | I challenge any reader, young or old, not to want to devour this book in one delicious sitting. Once started upon the story of Lotti and Ben, two orphans living in the aftermath of World War 1 and who could not be more different in temperament or background, it is impossible to put down. Initially and understandably wary, they gradually become each other’s best friend and staunch allies in their respective quests for family and a safe haven for an increasing number of dogs. Their odyssey takes them, in the faithful old narrowboat which has been Ben’s home, across the stormy channel to France, with a vengeful, deceitful uncle and a steadfast policeman hot on their heels. But there is nothing far fetched in their survival, they do need and even eventually welcome the support of friendly adults on both sides of the channel and they learn to work together and to counteract each other’s failings. They never lose hope in even the darkest moments and neither does the reader, despite some heart-stopping tension. These are characters who will dwell long in your memory and indeed leave you wanting to know more, including about some of the fascinating minor characters. The authentic period detail and dialogue captures the spirit of an age where children may seem, to a modern audience, to have a thrilling level of agency and independence, but only because they are largely ignored or neglected rather than protected by society. A standalone, middle grade adventure that is as well written as this, is pure gold dust with which to captivate young readers and a perfect class read. But be warned, they may not want to go home!
“It was October 1917 when my life truly changed.” So begins this heartfelt true story of unsung heroines and family life during WWI. Though the war was horrific and “the future…looked bleak for most of us” narrator Hettie notes that for girls and women, “in many ways, it was the making of us. For us, it was a new beginning.” Indeed, it kicked-off the ground-breaking events recounted in this top of the league tale, which itself kicks-off a series. Hettie is a self-professed “gangly fifteen-year-old with frizzy hair and barely a sensible thought in my head”. Her slightly older brother (“lovely, gentle Freddie”) has already gone to war, and now it’s her turn to do her bit working in the Dick, Kerr & Co munitions factory. Hettie’s apprehension as she starts work is palpable, as are the details of factory life - the roar and hiss of the machines, the dangers, the banter. In its presentation of social history Kicking Off is brilliantly evocative, and it packs hearty punch as a personal story too. After a tough start at work, Hettie perks up when her colleagues talk of forming a ladies’ football team, though her dad’s gruff warning rings loud in her ears (“Don’t you keep playing that game, Hettie. It’s unladylike. It’s unfitting”). But her new friend Grace is a determined, inspiring ally and, soon enough, “the start of something wonderful happens” when a match against the men’s team is arranged. The story’s a game of two halves, though, with plenty of twists, turns and metaphoric goalmouth scrambles as the pioneering young women persist in establishing their right to play. Female friendship and tenacity. Family love and conflict. Wartime realities that stir social revolutions - what a pitch-perfect story this, and told in a clear, readable style that could hook reluctant readers.
Christina is sent to stay with her terrifying uncle and her cousins at Flambards, a rambling house in the country where riding and hunting are the most prized activities. Everything about the countryside - and her relatives - is new to Christina but she soon finds she loves riding. And, in different ways, she begins to love her cousins. The first volume in a hugely romantic trilogy.
It is Charlotte's first night at boarding school, and as she's settling down to sleep, she sees the corner of the new building from her window. But when she wakes up, instead of the building there is a huge, dark cedar tree, and the girl in the next bed is not the girl who slept there last night. Somehow, Charlotte has slipped back forty years to 1918 and has swapped places with a girl called Clare. Charlotte and Clare swap places ever night until one day Charlotte becomes trapped in 1918 and must find a way to return to her own time before the end of term.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2018 | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2019 | One of our 2018 Books of the Year | Award winning Hilary McKay tells a captivating and deeply moving story of three young people growing up in the years before and during World War One. How their lives were totally changed by the War, how what really happened to the soldiers could never be talked about and how a girl like Clarry suddenly had opportunities because of the war are all touched on in a story that is also about universal adolescent relationships and the timeless concerns of being a teenager. Following their mother’s death at her birth, Clarry and her older brother Peter live a joyless life with their gloomy father. The pair live for their summer holidays in Cornwall with their grandparents which they share with their older cousin Rupert. Here, the trio are free to be themselves and to begin to break away from the constraints of family expectations. When war is declared Rupert enlists: his family is horrified and Clarry and Peter are left trying to work out where he might be, how they themselves should react to the war and, above all, whether Rupert is safe. Hilary McKay has a rare gift for novels about families and their interplay. Here, she weaves her story round one of the most powerful backdrops in history. And she does so with the lightest of touch which makes her history come alive.
Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | The horrors of World War One and the huge demands it made on the young men who fought in it are explored in this thought-provoking and moving ghost story. It’s the end of the war but Tony and his mother have no reason to celebrate: Tony’s big brother Charlie was killed in France, shot by his own side as a deserter. His mother is heartbroken, but few of their neighbours are sympathetic and indeed, Tony’s old teacher presents him with a white feather. Tony can’t believe Charlie would run away and when he receives a final coded letter from his brother determines to find out what really happened. Economically told, this is a powerful story that raises issues of courage and responsibility.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2018 | | Based on the true American story from World War One the atmospheric illustrations and simple text of Stubby gives a moving insight into the horrors of the war as seen through the story of the exceptional contribution of a stray dog. When Stubby, a little dog with no home of his own, wanders into an army training camp he quickly becomes a much loved mascot for the young soldiers. Taken overseas to the battlefields, he shows incredible bravery and loyalty, including barking a warning to the soldiers when he can smell the deadly poisonous gas and alerting his soldiers to the presence of enemies. When peace is declared, Stubby is given his very own special coat with medals on it as a reward for his courage. On his return to the US with his soldiers friends Stubby is even taken to the White House to meet the President.
A new illustrated story celebrating the poppy's history. Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman have teamed up with the Royal British Legion to tell an original story that explains the meaning behind the poppy.In Flanders' fields, young Martens knows his family's story, for it is as precious as the faded poem hanging in their home. From a poor girl comforting a grieving soldier, to an unexpected meeting of strangers, to a father's tragic death many decades after treaties were signed, war has shaped Martens's family in profound ways - it is their history as much as any nation's. They remember. They grieve. They honour the past. This book also includes a full-colour, illustrated afterword that explains the history that inspired the story.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Shortlisted for the Children's Book Awards 2019, Books for Older Readers Category | Interest Age 8-10 Reading Age 8 | World War One remains a subject of fascination for readers of all ages, but Tom Palmer finds an original way in to the topic in this poignant new story. Lily is a keen fell runner, though she’s fed up of coming in as runner up in races. A visit to her grandparents reveals a surprise: her great-grandfather ran on the fells too. His experiences are recounted vividly in his diary, both his runs in his beloved Cumbria and his experiences as a soldier, recruited to run between positions on the front line, carrying crucial information to the allies. Their shared experiences form a powerful connection, and help Lily to understand herself better, and also to help her grandma when she needs it most. Today and yesterday are seamlessly woven together in a story that will move readers in lots of different ways.
Shortlisted for The Branford Boase Award 2019 | April 2018 Debut of the Month | It’s 1916 and fourteen-year-old Angelique is working on the family farm when she learns that her detested father has been killed in action, while her beloved brother Pascal is still at war. To Angelique, Mother’s grief seems excessive - “How could she have loved father so?” she wonders, and so we wonder what kind of man he was while she focuses all her energy on keeping the farm afloat. Angelique’s strength is formidable. She’s admirably forthright, a force to be reckoned with, especially when adversity escalates and so, with the support of her dear Uncle Gustav, she hatches a plan that might just save the farm. They will venture through France to sell her brother's flock of glorious geese to the Commander-in-Chief of the Somme. Blending real-life hardships and the horrors of WWI with an overarching fairy tale-esque adventure, this is a classic David versus Goliath story in which a girl steps up to fight multiple Goliaths with large doses of determination, wit and a willingness to take risks. Highly recommended.
Poems, short stories, personal letters, newspaper articles, scripts, photographs and paintings are just some of the elements of this astonishing collection, with cover and artwork by renowned illustrator, Ian Beck. Among the many contributors are Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, Sir Andrew Motion, Miranda Hart, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz, Eoin Colfer, Antony Beevor, Emma Thompson, David Almond, Dr Rowan Williams, Richard Curtis, Joanna Lumley, Raymond Briggs, Shami Chakrabarti and Sir Tony Robinson. Royalties from the publication will be spilt between the Royal British Legion and projects for soldiers' children and families at SSAFA.
One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2014 - Interest Age 10+ Reading Age 8 Football never dies – even during the darkest days of the First World War. Tom Palmer tells the true story of the Footballers’ Battalion. Accused of cowardice because they are out playing football instead of fighting, Jack and his friends sign up to fight – and to play football. They have been promised the excitement of a Cup but the boys have to survive all the horror of the fighting too. Best-selling Tom Palmer’s young heroes show their courage in the midst of the conflict. This book is also available to read via the Barrington Stoke 'Tints' App. Find out more here. There is also a great website to support this title full of background information and a Teachers’ Area with invaluable discussion guides, play scripts and Q&As.
It will seem odd when reading this book that the author enjoyed writing it the most of all the 90 or so he has written so far. That’s because it’s the one that most touched a nerve with him, that he was most passionate about and as a consequence he lost himself completely in it while writing. The story of a young farm boy who took on the nightmare of the trenches in the first world war is essential reading not just for a child starting out in life but for parents of any age. It’s a brilliant story about childhood, about growing up too young, it’s about loss and friendships and love and war. The author’s anger at the appalling treatment of young men in the story is clear and the hope is that the British government will realise their wrong-doing and pardon ALL those young men whose story this was written for.
Winner of the 2016 Historical Association’s ‘Young Quill’s Award for Historical Fiction’ (primary school category) | One of our Books of the Year 2015 | | The stories of the many animals involved in the First World War make a great way to explain to children the sacrifices made by the soldiers: the animals had no choice but to take part, had no nationality, and children can quickly identify with them. Flo is a Mercy dog, one of those trained to find the wounded and dying on battlefields and sent out with medical supplies. Her story is told in rhyme, building through repetition ( like This is the house that Jack Built) from ‘This is Flo, a hero of war/A mercy dog that saved lives’ until the full story emerges, of pilots shot down and then saved by the Medical Corps, with the help of a messenger pigeon, a donkey and of course Flo. The illustrations are full of details to inspire discussion, and a moving story of peace and reconciliation emerges.
How the First World War affected girls is excellently captured in this diary. Living a comfortable life in the country where she is regarded as a tomboy on account of her love of riding, Daffy has never had to work in her life. But, with the outbreak of war, things begin to change. It is 1916 and Daffy learns some basic skills in the local village hall and then signs up for the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. Soon she is in France and right in the midst of the action. The addition of photographs brings the experience alive while a useful timeline gives some of the key dates of the First World War. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Megan Rix adds a new title to her much-loved stories about the bravery of animals in extreme situations. Set in the First World War, this tells the story of a very special friendship between a dog and a cat. Sammy is a rescue puppy and Mouser is a fearsomely brave grey tabby cat. Like other animals at the time, the two are sent out from England to the trenches where they are in the front line of the action. Together, and making more friends wherever they go, Sammy and Mouser endure the hardship of the constant gun fire. How the two survive is an exciting and touching story.
Shortlisted for the 2015 Guardian Children's Book prize - One of our Books of the Year 2014 - October 2014 Book of the Month - Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2014 | Witty, tender and full of insights into life love and politics, this is a brilliant book in its own right as well as a worthy tribute to E. Nesbit’s classic Five Children and It. The year is 1914. Anthea, Robert, Jane and Cyril, who has just enlisted, are now grown up, the Lamb is a schoolboy and even Edie, an addition to the family since the original, is old enough to meet the extraordinary and magical Psammead when he re-enters their life. All the children are longing for some new adventures but has the Psammead still got his magical powers? As befits the serious times, the Psammead plays an invaluable role in helping the family understand the First World War while also sorting out problems from his own past. Action-packed, funny and thoughtful this is a book to fall in love with. Although Kate Saunders' novel takes its inspiration from E Nesbit's Five Children and It, Five Children on the Western Front is an entirely stand alone novel and there is no need to have read the original classic.
Shortlisted for the Education Resources Award 2015 | Amid the horror of the fighting in the First World War, there was one moment of unexpected and surprising harmony. On Christmas Eve 1914 the soldiers from opposing sides of No Man’s Land joined together in the singing of a carol. Stille Nacht was begun by the German soldiers; Silent Night followed as the British soldiers joined in. The next day, weapons were laid down and the two sides played an impromptu game of football. In a simple and well-phrased text and evocative illustrations this moment of truce is finely captured.
Award-winning Janis Mackay whizzes her readers back in time and gives them a good introduction to 1914 in the days just before the outbreak of World War One. Agnes is determined to find the deeds of the big house which is sure was stolen from her family. Without proof of who owns it, the house is to be knocked down and that would mean the end of the den where Agnes and her friends play. The only way to find them is to travel back in time…Helped by some special magic Agnes and gang-leader Saul find themselves living in a big house in 1914. Their experience tells much about the hardship of the poor at the time and also gives a glimpse of what people thought might happen when war broke out.
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 7+ An amazing true story, this is the life of Walter Tull. Tull was a brave and true young man who became the first black footballer in top flight football and then earned a new kind of respect for his bravery in World War One. Walter and his younger brother were sent to live in a children’s home when they were orphaned as children. Walter always showed an exceptional talent for football and he was soon signed up first for the top amateur club and then at Tottenham Hotspurs. Tully experienced racism when he played away games but he continued to play brilliant football and did his best to ignore the taunts. When World War One broke out Tull enlisted and such showed exceptional skill and such good leadership qualities that he was made an officer! Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+
This special edition of War Horse commemorates the 100th Anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, and features a brand new introduction by Michael Morpurgo and cover artwork by Rae Smith, designer of the National Theatre's production of War Horse. Michael Morpurgo’s tender story of Joey, a brave hearted farm horse who finds himself caught up in the horrors of war, cleverly conveys both the violence and the occasional compassion, which occurs during conflict. A classic story of animal courage and bravery.
Shortlisted for The Little Rebels Children's Book Award 2014 Best-selling John Boyne gives a poignant insight into the First World War as seen through the eyes of a young boy whose father goes away to fight and returns shell shocked. Alfie is only five when his father signs up as a soldier. Left to be the man of the house and to take care of his mother, Alfie soon suspects that something terrible has happened to his father. Working as a shoe-shine boy to earn much needed money to keep the family afloat, Alfie uncovers the truth about his father and also learns about the terrible cost of the war on everyone around him. John Boyne’s naïve narrator will feel familiar to all those who loved The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Longlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal - One of our Books of the Year 2014 - July 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month What did living through the First World War feel like for relatives at home, especially children, as well as for the soldiers fighting at the Front? Eleven stories inspired by objects from the time of the war are beautifully told by internationally acclaimed authors including David Almond, Tracy Chevalier and Michael Morpurgo. From a butter dish made by a young girl whose life is changed by the war in Maud’s Story by Adele Geras to a Brodie helmet complete with a bullet hole in Our Jacko by Michael Morpurgo the stories bring alive the profound effect of the 1914-18 years. ~ Julia Eccleshare
A wonderful collection of stories from award-winning authors such as Anne Fine, Melvin Burgess, Adele Geras and Berlie Doherty which captures a wide range of life changing experiences for women living through the great upheaval of the First World War. There’s romance, courage, humour, optimism and excitement all shot through with sadness at the overwhelming loss of life.
No child who reads this will ever sanction a war if they can help it. Marcus brings the horrors of World War One to life in fiction in the most dramatic of ways. It really is completely compelling, made all the more frightening by the fact that one of the key protagonists is able to see into the future. And if you like cliffhangers at the end of every chapter you can’t do better than this.
It began 100 years ago. They said it would be over by Christmas. They were wrong. Read about the tanks and trenches, bombs and battlefields that make up the chilling story of World War One. Did you know that German Zeppelins were made from cow intestines, the same material as sausage skins, so sausages were banned in Germany? Or that the fighting was stopped on Christmas Day 1914, so that German and British soldiers could play football in no man's land? Richard Brassey's unique and accessible style has proved enormously popular with children, and this book will provide an easy way to explain the importance of the event to young readers.
Women’s roles in the First World War need to be told as frequently as possible. Mary Hooper’s Poppy combines a brilliant insight into how utterly and dramatically the lives of women changed during the conflict as attitudes altered and old social hierarchies were overturned and with a heart-warming romance. How the war affected a girl like Poppy and how she is changed by it is a richly entertaining story. Follow Poppy as she travels to Flanders as a nurse on the front line in the sequel Poppy in the Field.
Find out all the really important things about the First World War with this brilliant book of questions and answers on World War One in association with Imperial War Museums which was founded during World War One to encourage, the study and understanding of the history of modern war and wartime experience.
A collection of twelve action-packed true stories about war in the air and on land during World War I - including the growing importance of aeroplanes in the war, German bombing raids, the terror of the zeppelins, life in the trenches, the tragedy of Gallipoli and a daring escape from a prisoner of war camp during WWI. Packed with maps, illustrations and black and white photographs, this is an incredible collection of stories about the First World War.
A hugely powerful and emotional story which really brings home to the reader the horror and hardship faced not only by the soldiers, but everyone else who lived through the First World War. This outstanding story is full of raw emotion and a real sense of the enormous hardship faced by men and women during the First World War and it is reissued to coincide with the centenary of the First World War.
One of our Books of the Year 2014 - May 2014 Debut of the Month Bringing the past alive through a timeslip is an excellent way of getting under the skin of the very young soldiers serving at the front in the First World War. On a trip to Ypres with her grandfather, Rose is deeply moved by the grave of a fifteen year old soldier, Valentine Joe. That night, she finds herself suddenly back in the days of the war. When she meets the young soldiers she is determined to try to change their destiny. But can she? A thought-provoking, original and deeply moving story which brings the war vividly to life. A Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher, Chicken House Can we ever imagine life for ordinary ‘Joes’ in the chaos and confusion of the First World War trenches? Well, here in this moving, heartbreaking and warm story Rebecca Stevens does just that – she takes a modern young girl back to meet a boy soldier and his dog. They learn a lot together – but more importantly they help each other come to terms with what’s happening in both their worlds, when death becomes part of everyday life. Sorry, I couldn’t help crying. IT MUST NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN! Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading4kids expert opinion some of our Kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
This is an incredibly powerful tale of war, friendship and courage. The Great War has begun. An underage boy signs up for the Army to be like the other men fighting for his country, but the reality of war is very different from his dreams of glory. This novel provides a chilling depiction of war and indeed what our fore fathers went through to give us the world and the life we have today.
One of our Books of the Year 2014 It was Christmas Day in the trenches in France during World War One and a remarkable football match took place. British and German soldiers put down their weapons and took up a game of football instead. For one day, the enemies are friends: they talk and play instead of fighting. But, the war isn’t over and next day they pick up their weapons and the lads from Suffolk are ordered to go over the top…An astonishing story beautifully told in words and pictures… Winner of the prestigious Smarties Prize, this unputdownable, yet at times harrowing story of a group of boys from Suffolk who sign up to fight in World War One is a classic. Written in memory of his Uncle who died during World War One this is probably the best children’s book for a youngster to read and begin to understand what his or her ancestors’ sacrificed their lives for to bring peace and prosperity to this country. It’s a masterpiece.Other titles in this series of books set in, around and after the two world wars of the 20th century by Michael Foreman include, After the War was Over, War Game, War Boy, Farm Boy and Billy the Kid. And a message from the author and illustrator, Michael Foreman: IN MEMORY OF MY UNCLES, WHO DIED IN THE GREAT WAR.WILLIAM JAMES FOREMAN, KILLED AGED 18FREDERICK BENJAMIN FOREMAN, KILLED AGED 20WILLIAM HENRY GODDARD, KILLED AGED 20LACY CHRISTMAS GODDARD, DIED OF WOUNDS CHRISTMAS DAY 1918 AGED 24 Two brothers walked out of my Grandfather’s little Suffolk cottage amongst the hollyhocks and went to War. Their names are on the village War Memorial. A third brother, my father, was too young to go with them. Two other young men, my mother’s brothers, left Granny’s Norfolk village pub and went to war. Their names are on another War Memorial. There are no photographs of these young men. They didn’t live long enough to have children. They left just four names amid a multitude. My father died one month before I was born … but, back then, all my friends were growing up without their fathers. They were all away in World War II. The only local men around were too old for this new War, but were still haunted by the ghosts of World War I. Soon, however, our village became full of men. Fathers and brothers from other lands, all on their way to war. They trained on our cliffs and beaches, camped in our woods and fields. They made a fuss of us – the last children they would see before hitting the beaches of occupied Europe. And so another multitude went off to war. As I write this, sitting in our London garden, there are hollyhocks standing to attention in the shade like the hollyhocks around Grandfather’s cottage. There are four of them.
Shortlisted for the Education Resources Award 2015 - One of our Books of the Year 2014 | Shortlisted for the Education Resources Award 2015 - One of our Books of the Year 2014 This moving poetic text matched with warm-hearted illustrations captures the lives of two friends and the parts they played in the enormous military campaign of the First World War. From their early days playing together through to their old age they shared everything. Above all, as young men they courageously shared the danger and devastation of the war which took place on their very own land. The result is a book that reflects the lasting importance of both friendship and place and how they can help to heal the tragedy of war.
Line of Fire is one of the most extraordinary - and beautiful - books about the First World War. This diary of an unknown French soldier tells of his experiences in the very early days of the fighting at the Front. Told as a matter-of-fact catalogue of events, it records the strange journey from normal civilian life into the life of a solder with all the hardship that brings. While there is no wallowing in all the unpleasantness that he sees, its impact is strongly felt. Through Barroux’s wonderful illustrations readers emphasise absolutely with the soldier’s experience. Astonishingly, the book was found completely by chance on a Paris street by author-illustrator Barroux. He rescued the diary from the rubbish, took it back to his studio and, moved and inspired by the soldier’s story, adapted the soldier’s diary into a striking and unforgettable black and white graphic novel. In the words of Michael Morpurgo, who has written a special introduction to the book, this is ‘a witness statement, the untrammelled, unedited voice of someone who was there.’
One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2014 - Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8+ Award-winning Linda Newbery gives a fresh insight into the First World War in this deeply touching story. Village sweethearts Tilly and Harry are both willing to do what they can to help win the war. Harry joins up to serve in France and Tilly trains as a nurse stationed first near home and later in France. Despite their best intentions each of them finds themselves unable to keep promises made in the course of action. Can they still trust themselves? Can they trust each other? Linda Newbery sensitively charts the wider ripples of the war and its effect. A Piece of Passion from the Editor, Ruth Williams ‘I loved working on Tilly's Promise. Tilly's such an appealing narrator – sympathetic, yet matter-of-fact and totally lacking in self-pity. Tilly's own experiences as a nurse are moving enough, but particularly distressing are her concerns for her brother Georgie who has learning difficulties – I'd never before thought about what happened to men who were fit enough to fight, but couldn't understand what was going on.’ Tilly’s Promise is the story of a young volunteer nurse. For more information on nurses and medical care during the War and how the War affected those at home visit www.readingwar.co.uk. There is a wealth of fascinating information plus an introduction to the book from Linda Newbery.
This informative and sensitive collection of short stories brings 1914-1918 to life through the experiences of twelve children and young people. From the efforts on the Home Front in both Britain and Germany, to the young soldiers in the trenches at the Western Front and from the horrors of Gallipoli to the naval battle of Jutland.
The moving story of two brothers who fought in the First World War through the real letters, complete with hand-drawn cartoons, they sent to their sisters. Like so many families across the world, the Semple family were split apart by the First World War. While William and Robert were fighting the Germans in France, their younger sisters, Mabel and Jelly (Eileen), had to carry on with school back in England. To keep in touch, they wrote letters. The sisters treasured these letters, which gave snapshots of their brothers' lives as soldiers. Many of the letters included cartoon illustrations to amuse the sisters. The book presents these letters with their illustrations. After each letter the author has written a short commentary, drawing out the facts about the war that can be taken from it. Altogether the book is a powerful and moving record of one family's experience of the First World War and a moving read for readers aged nine and up.
Information-packed, this book gives all kinds of facts about life in the trenches including the behind-the-scenes things that soldiers in World War One had to deal with. Comic illustrations vividly bring to life the danger, hunger, cold and horrors of dealing with rats and lice! The light hearted style which includes lots of jokes in no way diminishes the grim reality of soldier’s lives and what they achieved.
An excellent introductory history of the First World War told in short, accessible chapters, this describes some of the key moments of the conflict and some of the reasons why it was so much more devastating than had been anticipated. Opening with the then widespread belief at the time that it would be ‘over by Christmas’ key military moments such as the zeppelin campaign, the Battle of Jutland and the devastating battle of the Somme are described as well as the unlikely but true events including the famous football match on Christmas Day 1914.
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2013 - Best Book with Facts | In personal jottings, photos and pictures, this scrapbook brings alive a pioneering black footballer and British officer in the First World War who lived outside the limitations of his age - from Walter's childhood in an orphanage through his footballing years at Spurs and Northampton to the Western Front, highlighting the Christmas Day Truce of 1914, Walter's officer training - pipe, moustache and all! - ending with his death on the Somme, his memorials and his legacy.
In an excellent time-slip story, James Riordan brings the action and tragedy of the First World War vividly to life. Jack’s grandfather is a war hero with medals to prove it. But he will never talk about what he did and he refuses to come into Jack’s school to speak about it. On a visit to the war graves, Jack learns directly what it was like as he suddenly finds himself in another life - right back in 1914 where he is a young soldier in the trenches. In addition to the fighting, Jack’s dramatic experiences include that most famous and most extraordinary moment of the Christmas day football match held on No Man’s Land between the two sides.
An evocative WW1 story of heroism and friendship, based on real events. Ali Pasha was a tortoise celebrity, appearing on Blue Peter and in newspapers worldwide, including The Times and The Boston Globe. Retold through journal entries and through Henry’s accounts to a young reporter, Ali’s story has stunning colour illustrations throughout.
Written by those who were involved at the time, this is a thoughtful and powerful selection of poems that capture many different experiences of war. The soldiers’ view is reflected in familiar poems such as Wilfred Owen’s haunting Dulce Et Decorum Est and Rupert Brooke’s Death. There are also many women’s voices here including Vera Brittain’s touching To My Brother and Jessie Pope’s more upbeat War Girls.
Can a pigeon save the two hundred American soldiers who are trapped behind the enemy lines? American farm-boy Joe, who shouldn’t really be fighting anyway because he is under-age, is useless at most things but he is brilliant at training pigeons. It is his job to make sure that his pigeon can fly the 25 miles necessary to the get the message through and he is sure they can! An exciting story which brings alive a little known aspect of World War 1. A Piece of Passion from Kate Paice, Commissioning Editor for Children’s Fiction and Poetry for A&C Black (an imprint of Bloomsbury) Terry Deary is the master of historical non-fiction for kids, and his World War I Tales show him on top form. These fascinating true tales give us some unexpected viewpoints on the 'Great War'. The fears of young men forced into danger, the misery of a German bombing crew who would rather be home with their families, the frustration of a girl who just wants to do her bit… In all these tales, Terry Deary reminds us that wars are fought by people just like us – and that, mostly, those people would rather not be made to fight.
Millie Watson is growing up with the ever-present threat of German bombs. No lights are allowed to show at night and no sounds must be made when the great German Zeppelins are flying overhead. Kept afloat with hot air and filled with German soldiers armed with bombs, the Zeppelins spell danger for the people below. When a Zeppelin springs a leak and comes to ground unexpectedly, Millie gets the chance to tell the Germans exactly what she thinks of them! A Piece of Passion from Kate Paice, Commissioning Editor for Children’s Fiction and Poetry for A&C Black (an imprint of Bloomsbury)Terry Deary is the master of historical non-fiction for kids, and his World War I Tales show him on top form. These fascinating true tales give us some unexpected viewpoints on the 'Great War'. The fears of young men forced into danger, the misery of a German bombing crew who would rather be home with their families, the frustration of a girl who just wants to do her bit… In all these tales, Terry Deary reminds us that wars are fought by people just like us – and that, mostly, those people would rather not be made to fight.
War in the air was a dangerous but thrilling experience for the young men who risked their lives in the new fangled aeroplanes. When Alfred’s skill with a camera is spotted during training he is sent off to join the brave young pilots in the Royal Flying Corp so that he can take photographs from behind the German lines and bring back vital information. In his diary to his sister Alfred brings to life the excitement and the terrible danger of these missions and the amazing bravery of the young men who carried them out.
This largely pictorial insight into the First World War sets out the story of the war from Outbreak to the Final Shots across fourteen big pages of illustrations with flaps that can be lifted to reveal further information. The major topics covered are life in the trenches, the dramatic war at sea, the war in the skies conducted in aeroplanes which were only just safe to fly in and the war as it spread to Turkey. Readers will be easily drawn in by the illustrations but will also learn many facts from the text.
A powerful combination of historic detail, timeless narrative and action-packed plot. The author places three teenagers, one American, one British and the other German at the centre of the story in the lead up to the 11th day of the 11th month at 11am. But can each of them find the strength, bravery and understanding within themselves in order to get back safely to their homelands? If you're on the look out for a nail-biting, page-turning thriller - a junior le Carre - then this is for you. .............................. There is a helpful reading guide to accompany this book which you can download through the link (right) with discussion topics, creative writing ideas and further reading suggestions.
It’s 1917. In the trenches of France, miles from home, Stanley is a boy fighting a man’s war. He is a dog handler, whose dog must be so loyal that he will cross no-man’s-land alone under heavy fire to return to Stanley’s side, carrying a message that could save countless lives. But this journey is fraught with danger, and only the bravest will survive. As the fighting escalates and Stanley experiences the true horror of war, he comes to realize that the loyalty of his dog is the only thing he can rely on.Based on the fascinating true story of animals who gave their lives during the Great War, Soldier Dog is a heart-breaking book. Set against the devastating backdrop of WWI, this is a powerful story which will bring history to life for young readers. Read more about the inspiration behing Soldier Dog, and the research which went into writing the book, here.
This powerful picture book captures both the optimism and the despair of the first months of the First World War. Only fifteen when the war is declared Sydney, like many other boys, longs to be old enough to have a crack at the bullying Kaiser. He watches as his father sets off for war with a spring in his step and his eyes shining. And he also sees just how wretched it makes his mother. Nonetheless, lying about his age, he signs up and arrives in France. Sydney gives his impressions of the war in two contrasting accounts. To his mother he writes reassuringly; for himself he records the absolute horror of it all and the different kinds of terrible deaths that befall his friends.
Award-winning Sonya Hartnett’s deeply moving The Silver Donkey is full of a soldier’s tales which he tells to the two children who find him alive but blind, struggling to get back from the war to his home across the channel. But the tales the soldier tells are not ones about war; they are all stories which one way or another connect to the precious and tiny silver donkey he carries in his pocket. Each beautifully told tale has a quietly made point which reflects the thoughtfulness of the soldier who, while waiting between the children’s visits, reflects on the war giving deeply moving insights into the great sadness he feels for the inhumanity of one man to another that he has observed. Lovereading Comment....Set in France in the the First World War this is a stunning piece of timeless and inspirational storytelling for younger readers from the 2002 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize-winning author of Thursday's Child. It's the story of an injured young soldier found by two young children one morning. As they help him to recover from some of his injuries the soldier tells the most evocative and at times painful stories all linked to The Silver Donkey, a keepsake in his pocket. As the days pass and they struggle to help the soldier reach home, the sisters learn the truth behind the silver donkey and what the precious object means: honesty, loyalty and courage.
A terrific page-turner set during World War One in which two children befriend a man who lives alone on an island in the Isles of Scilly. As their friendship develops he tells the children of a dreaded curse that has afflicted a nearby island. Determined to find out more and to lift the curse it becomes a race against time and against all the other inahbitants of the Isles of Scilly for the children to prevent the curse from striking again. The author's ability to interweave fact and fiction into an empowering adventure is second to none.
One of the most heart-warming stories you'll read around war, this is a classic Christmas story from the bestselling author/illustrator team of Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman.With the anniversary of WWI upon us this tells the story of one of the most poignant events, the Christmas Truce. Yet from this one event Michael spins an incredible story in which you will feel so drawn in by the characters created by Michael and because of that it will leave you, the reader, whateveryour age with goosebumps.
Heroism or cowardice? A stunning story of the First World War from a master storyteller. Told in the voice of a young soldier, the story follows 24 hours in his life at the front during WW1, and captures his memories as he looks back over his life. Full of stunningly researched detail and engrossing atmosphere, the book leads to a dramatic and moving conclusion. Both a love story and a deeply moving account of the horrors of the First World War, this book will reach everyone from 9 to 90.
Christina and Will have escaped Flambards for London with their heads full of dreams, only to find a whole new set of problems. Not only the basic ones of work and a place to live, but Will's single-minded ambition to desing and pilot flying machines, which terrify Christina every time he leaves the ground. Will is certain he can become a success, but what price is he willing to pay for the glory? A Carnegie Medal winner in 1969, this novel is now reissued in a smaller format mass-market paperback.
This is a fascinating scrapbook insight to the First World War, as seen through the eyes of a young boy. In 1914, just before the outbreak of the First World War, ten-year-old Archie is sent a scrapbook in the post by his Uncle Colin. In the years that follow, until the war ends in 1918, he writes in the book and we experience life through Archie's eyes and learn about his world and his family in an exhilarating collage of strip comics, doodles, drawings, cartoon characters, mementoes, photos, thoughts and jokes. It's an astonishing insight into what it was like to be a child at this important moment in history. With its striking scrapbook style - containing flaps and fold-out letters - Archie's War is fun, informative and instantly accessible to a young audience. It supports KS1 and KS2 History: historical interpretation and enquiry, and KS2 English: reading in a variety of forms (letters, diaries, autobiographies).
It's 1917 and the Great War rages in Europe. When Daffy Rowntree's brother goes missing in action, she refuses to sit safely in England, and determines to do something to help win the war. Soon she finds herself in the mud and horror of the battlefields of France, driving an ambulance transporting the wounded of the trenches.
Travel back in time with this fascinating sticker book, jam-packed with information, maps and photographs taken during the First World War. Covering one hundred years after the outbreak of WW1, this title helps you discover the history that led up to it, the military strategies that were employed on both sides, what life was like for soldiers in the trenches and much more. It comes with over 100 stickers of photographs and artefacts. It is published in conjunction with The Imperial War Museums.
It is 1915. 17 year old Sasha Fox is the privileged only daughter of a respected doctor living in the wealthy seaside town of Brighton. But her brothers, Edgar and Tom, have gone to war and Sasha has a terrible gift. She can see the future. Her premonitions show her untold horrors on the battlefields of the Somme, and worse still, what will happen to Edgar and Tom. Like the prophetess Cassandra, who foretold the tragedies of Troy, Sasha is trapped by power. No one will believe her. Her family have lost faith in her. She is determined to win them back, whatever the price. And it is a high one - seeing the future is a fate almost too awful to contemplate - for who wants to see the end of their own story...? Stylishly written in his familiar, poetic prose the story is that of a world full of threat and a child in jeopardy - but with a heroine resourceful enough to try to change the path of Fate.