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One Day in Oradour

Written by Helen Watts

Books of the Month Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 13+ readers Historical Fiction Recommended Children's eBooks

LoveReading View on One Day in Oradour

June 2013 Book of the Month  This powerful novel tells the shocking story behind the decimation of an entire French village by SS Troops towards the end of World War II - and of the escape of the only surviver, a seven year old boy. The author brings vividly to life the terrible human cost of war.

One Day in Oradour is based on true events in the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane on 10th June 1944. The village has been in the news spotlight again in recent months because of a new German investigation into the massacre following the arrest of six former SS soldiers believed to have been involved in the killings. With a twist in the tale, this is a story which leaves the reader surprised, inspired and profoundly moved.

A Piece of Passion from Kate Paice, Commissioning Editor, Bloomsbury Publishing

When I started to read this story, I’d never heard of Oradour. By the time I’d finished, I knew I’d never forget it. This fictionalized account of the terrible events that took place in a small, peaceful village one hot summer’s day grabbed me from the moment I opened it, and builds up with almost unbearable tension. It’s a tragic, hard-hitting story, and Helen Watts doesn’t shrink from showing us that, but what makes it linger in the memory is the hope she shows us - the love of ordinary families, the amazing courage of a little boy, and the flicker of humanity we sometimes see in even the hardest of hearts.

Helen Watts writes...It was a visit to the memorial village at Oradour-sur-Glane. I arrived knowing nothing and left with a head still full of questions about the hundreds of amazing stories waiting to be discovered among the fire-scorched rubble. And it was the unforgettable photograph in the museum there, of seven-year-old orphan Roger Godfrin standing amid the ruins of his former home, the only schoolchild to escape from the massacre. The same photograph which ended up on my front cover.


One Day in Oradour Synopsis

On a hot summer afternoon in 1944, SS troops wiped out an entire French village. 644 men, women and children died that day. Just one child survived. This book tells the story of what happened in Oradour, and imagines what drove both the SS officer who ordered the massacre, and the seven-year-old boy who escaped it. Powerful, moving and almost unbearably tense, this book weaves the truth about what happened to the people in Oradour into a powerful fictional story centred on two characters: the plucky, inspirational seven-year-old Alfred Fournier, refugee and resident of Oradour, and the hot-headed, power-hungry SS commander who shattered his world and changed his life for ever, Major Gustav Dietrich. As their two worlds collide, we gain a fascinating insight into the extremes and contradictions of human behaviour and emotion.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781408182017
Publication date: 09/05/2013
Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408182017
Publication date: 9th May 2013
Author: Helen Watts
Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 256 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Genres: Historical Fiction
Recommendations: Books of the Month, eBooks

About Helen Watts

Helen Watts is a writer, editor and publisher. Her experience spans magazine, book and online publishing for children and teachers and she has written and produced fiction, non-fiction and classroom resources on a vast range of topics - from The Olympic Games and the football World Cup to cyber-bullying and teenage fashion. Helen is also the Schools Coordinator for the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival. She is married with two children – Jack and Georgia - and lives in Warwickshire.

More About Helen Watts

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