To mark the centenary in 2014 of the outbreak of World War One we have gathered together a selection of books, fiction and non-fiction, new titles and old ones, for a wide range of ages, to reflect the tragedy of World War 1.
Over the coming years a lot of books will be published for around WW1 anniversaries, so we will be selecting our favourites, both fiction and non-fiction to keep up to date. We hope it will inspire children never to forget the sacrifices made by their forbears. 'Lest we forget'.
Buy all the books on this list now from Browns Books For Students. Click the add to basket button to get started.
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. ~ Julia Eccleshare 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. Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.
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. ~ Andrea Reece Author Hilary Robinson said: “Amongst the brutality and tragedy of warfare there are endless heart-warming stories of mercy dogs. Not only did they risk their lives, but they brought comfort to the soldiers. Flo represents every single dog, on both sides, that played their part and it has been an honour as an author to pay tribute to that”. Illustrator Martin Impey said: "I am extremely honoured to be able to play a small part in telling and remembering the brave heroes whose worlds were turned upside down by war… the animals. These extraordinary creatures were loyal to the end and none more so than 'man's best friend' the humble dog. It has been a joy and a pleasure to go on an imaginary journey with Flo back to WW1 and try to do justice to her and the 50,000 + dogs who were used in all capacities during WW1. I hope the world will continue to spare a thought of remembrance for these brave, loyal and hardworking dogs, not to mention the countless thousands of other animals who simply had no choice." and on winning the prestigious Historical Association’s ‘Young Quill’s Award for Historical Fiction, 2016: Author Hilary Robinson said: "I feel privileged to be recognised by the Historical Association which does much to promote the love of history amongst children."Illustrator Martin Impey said: "Learning and studying about history is the beginning of finding out who we are and where we came from. The Historical Association is at the forefront of that, enthusing children to find out more! I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to be recognised by such a prestigious association."
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. ~ Julia Eccleshare 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. Lovereading comment...This year marks the centenary of the 1914 Christmas Truce. To ensure that primary school age children have the opportunity to bear witness to this extraordinary moment in history, Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey have written a sequel to the highly acclaimed Where The Poppies Now Grow. The Christmas Truce is based on that true story and written in rhyme as a tribute to the war poets of the time. It tells the story of soldiers Ben and Ray shaking hands in friendship with Karl and Lars – a tribute to that remarkable moment in history when, for one day, peace found a place. Author Hilary Robinson said “The Christmas Truce was a remarkable moment in history. On Christmas Eve German soldiers started singing Stille Nacht across No Man’s Land and the British responded with Silent Night. The result was a remarkable show of friendship and humanity amidst the tragedy of war. ” Illustrator Martin Impey added “Amidst the fear and uncertainty, the soldiers realised that their foe were much as they were - just ordinary men in an extraordinary place. For a short time, they defied the concerns of their seniors and swapped gifts and prayed and played together. The Christmas Truce typified the human spirit at a time of unbelievable hardship and it is an honour to be playing a part, however small, in the remembrance of that.”
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. ~ Julia Eccleshare *** There is a stunning new hardback edition of War Horse, beautifully illustrated by Rae Smith, the stage designer of the epic theatre production. Click here to find out more.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.