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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.
Jack, standing among the war graves, sees a face he recognizes. Suddenly, it's 1914 again and he's a young lad back in the trenches. Visions of killing and misery come to him with horrible clarity. But then Jack remembers too the incredible moment when the guns fell silent for a short time, and fighting gave way to football on the frozen ground of No-Man's-Land. This amazing story, based on true facts from the First World War, will transport readers back to the war fields of France and show that even in times of conflict and extreme sadness, there is always hope.
This is a necessary, powerful, outspoken but ultimately healing book, something all young people born into more fortunate generations should read. The School Librarian
|Publication date:||7th November 2013|
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 13+ readers|
|Genres:||Adventure Stories, Historical Fiction|
|Other Categories:||The First World War|
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 ...More About James Riordan