War Song by James Riordan

War Song

Written by James Riordan

11+ readers   13+ readers   The World Wars   eBooks   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

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.


War Song by James Riordan

The Great War is raging in France and for girls like Florence and Dorothy it's a liberating time ...but also a dangerous one. As Dorothy risks her life working in the local munitions factory, Florence dreams of becoming a nurse - but when her wish comes true and she heads off to France to nurse the soldiers, she realizes that her dream is actually a living nightmare. But Dorothy is determined to help as many soldiers as she can, no matter what side they're on, and if she can't, she'll die trying...

About the Author

James Riordan

James Riordan ( 10 October 1936 - 10 February 2012) grew up during the war in his chimney-sweep grandfather’s house in Portsmouth. After school he was a barman, waiter, railway clerk, commercial salesman, and dance band musician. During his National Service in the RAF he learned Russian and went on to become Professor of Russian Studies at Surrey University. Besides novels, he has written folk-tale collections, picture books and over 20 academic publications. His first novel for children, Sweet Clarinet, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Award and, like his other novels The Prisoner and When the Guns Fall Silent, is based partly on his own wartime experiences.

Riordan then produced a steady flow of anthologies of various kinds from across Russia and its near neighbours, acting as both collector and translator. He also diversified into other folk-story traditions, including The 12 Labours of Hercules (1998), which won the UK Reading Association award. His collection The Woman in the Moon and Other Tales of Forgotten Heroines (1985), including stories from Japan, Ghana, Sicily, Lapland and the UK, was celebrated for its strong female characters.

Breaking away from other people's stories, he wrote his first novel, Sweet Clarinet (1998), the touching story of a boy overcoming injuries sustained in the London Blitz through his love of playing music. Nine more novels followed; all have something of the folk tale about them in terms of a child overcoming adversity through courage and belief. Many, such as Rebel Cargo (2007), the story of children sold into slavery and his final novel, Blood Runner (2011), the story of a young black boy whose parents are killed by the South African police, carry strong socio-political messages. Russia never lost its appeal as a source of stories for him and he returned there with the setting of his penultimate novel, The Sniper (2008), which is based on the true story of a teenage marksman at the siege of Stalingrad.

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Book Info


208 pages


James Riordan
More books by James Riordan


Oxford University Press

Publication date

1st May 2014




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