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Even as the First and Second World Wars get further away in history, they remain a subject of fascination for the young, and no wonder: the conflict brought out very best and the very worst in mankind. Paul Dowswell recounts some of the most dramatic events from the wars in this excellent collection, giving readers first-hand insight through the stories of the individuals involved. Some of those featured include Lieutenant William Leefe Robinson who in 1916 shot down a German airship, destroying for ever their myth of invincibility; Mata Hari, the Dutch born dancer who is remembered as one of the most famous spies ever; and Vasily Zaitsev, Stalingrad’s legendary Russian sniper. With maps, illustrations and photographs too, this is a fascinating book. ~ Andrea Reece
This is a unique story of triumph over adversity, told against the background of the Nationalist/Communist struggle for control of China. Adeline Yen Mah’s family considered her to be bad luck because her mother died shortly after giving birth to her. They discriminated against her and singled her out for cruel treatment, eventually abandoning her in a convent school. Yen Mah tells her story with extraordinary honesty and without bitterness, making this an absorbing read for young people. Eventually she proved her worth at school earning the respect of her teachers and friends. ~ Andrea Reece
The amazing true story of how an orphan from Sierra Leone has become a major US ballet star. Michaela DePrince’s life began in a country wracked by conflict. Her parents died when she was a baby. Placed in an orphanage by her cruel uncle she saw acts of unspeakable violence all around her but was saved herself by the care and wisdom of the owner of the orphanage who found adoptive US parents for the children in his charge. Together with her friend from Sierra Leone, Michaela was adopted by a remarkable family who not only gave them a home but also enabled Michaela to fulfil her dream of becoming a ballet dancer. Michaela and her adoptive mother tell their story with energy and good humour.
Alice Angel has known only a life of rules, restriction and punishments as she strays from the rigid path of Victorian proprietary that her mother has set out for her. After a chance encounter with a charming stranger, and a final incident with her family that sees her condemned to the madhouse, Alice sees her opportunity to run...
An abandoned dog hit by a train after being tied to a railway line to die and the child, severely disabled by a rare genetic condition. After the Howkins family saw Haatchi’s plight on a Facebook appeal, their son Owen was captivated and the dog was theirs just weeks after Haatchi’s accident. Owen found confidence and companionship and Haatchi became his devoted follower, changing Owen’s life in ways that the family could only dare hope for.
September 2014 Book of the Month An amazing collection of 33 short stories about all kinds of animals and their exceptional feats of bravery in war time. In the title story which is set in the Blitz during the Second World War, Jet of Iada, an Alsatian from Liverpool, travels with his handler to help pull those trapped in bombed buildings to safely. Jet has a gift for finding those who are trapped. This combined with his bravery makes him the perfect dog for the job. There are many other remarkable dogs in this volume but also a cat, a bear and several birds who make a substantial contribution in times of conflict.
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+
Read the true story of a war hero bear from his earliest beginnings as an orphaned bear cub through to his time helping soldiers on the front line in World War Two and onwards to after the war as he settles in Scotland with the veteran soldiers he was brought up with. Bestselling children's author Jenny Robertson explores the themes of friendship and trust between human and bear in this moving and inspirational story, based on the true events of one of the most amazing stories of animal heroism ever.
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.’
The Bravo Two Zero mission is one of the most famous stories of courage and survival. Of the eight members involved in an SAS patrol during the Gulf War in 1991, only one escaped capture - Chris Ryan. This is his story retold for a younger audience and brilliantly done too.
A gripping time-slip story with a World War Two setting plunges two children into an exciting adventure when they climb aboard a mysterious train and find themselves transported back to London at the time of the Blitz. Soon Joe and Scarlett find themselves on a desperate mission to save the life of Alfie whose home is blown to smithereens by a bomb. Packed full of detail about the time, this is gives a good insight into the very real dangers of growing up during the Blitz.
A new edition of the classic story of Scotland's most famous, best-loved dog. Everyone has heard the legend of Greyfriars Bobby, the Skye terrier who belonged to a policeman in Edinburgh more than one hundred and fifty years ago - and who was as loyal in death as in life to his master. This is an absolutely wonderful new picture book edition with some terrific new material included. Greyfriars Bobby was so famous that it's said that Queen Victoria paid him a special visit. But until now, not all the facts of this often told story have been known. Richard Brassey has uncovered new research in preparing this book and included it therein. Best of all, however, is the warmth and humour in the words and pictures that has made this story a favourite for generations of readers.
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