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To mark the centenary of the end of World War One, 2018 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 the First World War. We will refresh the list on a regular basis as new titles are published.
Best-selling Jacqueline Wilson’s 100th book is a cracking story set just before the First World War with one of Wilson’s feistiest girls yet at its heart. Opal Plumstead is a clever, bookish girl with a Scholarship place at a posh girl’s school. When her father commits a very foolish crime (to cover his disappointment at having his book rejected by a publisher) he is sent to prison and Opal’s life is turned upside down. Now she must work at the Fairy Glen sweet factory rather than study. The future looks bleak but in fact it is the beginning of a new chapter for Opal. Meeting Emmeline Pankhurst and the suffragettes shows her the new opportunities for women that are on the horizon. And she falls in love…When everything is thrown into turmoil by the war, Opal has her share of grief but finds there are new horizons waiting for her afterwards. ~ Julia Eccleshare ***And for a fun-filled book perfect for taking on your summer holidays have a look at Jacqueline Wilson's Happy Holidays, packed full of stories, activities and puzzles!
Shortlisted for the Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2017 Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 The Lost Soldier is lots of things: a genuinely creepy ghost story, and a gripping tale of loss, conflict, revenge and redemption. The ghost takes the form of a gruesome exhibit in the Museum of Marvels at a travelling carnival: the remains – real? – of a soldier, supposedly the last to die in World War One. It preys on Joe, a young man fighting his own battles in the small Texas town where he’s growing up, and on his brother, Wade, desperate to stop Joe leaving as their father did, never to return. Thoroughly involving, this is a powerful piece of storytelling. ~ Andrea Reece Commenting on his nomination for the Scottish Teenage Book Prize Keith said: “I'm surprised, excited and genuinely honoured to have ‘The Last Soldier’ shortlisted for the Scottish Teenage Book Prize. It's extremely unusual to have a work of short fiction considered for a prestigious literary award and I hope the readers enjoy finding the big story, big characters, and big emotions in such a small book.” Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+ 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. ............................................. Find out more about The Last Soldier and being a reluctant reader in this special blog piece by Keith Gray.
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, May 2015 A welcome return for Poppy, the brave young nurse in World War One. Poppy thinks her heart will break when she finds that Freddie whom she loves so much is to marry Philippa Cardew. Rather than mope at home, Poppy signs up to serve as a VAD nearer to the action of the war. Here the casualties are in a far worse state than in London and Poppy longs to help in any way she can. But first she must prove how useful she can be and overcome the view that VADs are not properly trained. With new work and new friends, Poppy flourishes and even gets over her broken heart! Mary Hooper captures the horrors of World War One, the bravery of those who served in all ways and, above all, the ups and downs of romance! ~ Julia Eccleshare Click here to read more about the story behind Poppy in the Field from the author herself. .................................................. Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2015 - Spotty Lottie and Me by Richard Byrne Bomber by Paul Dowswell The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge What the Jackdaw Saw by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt Poppy in the Field by Mary Hooper Soon by Timothy Knapman
Shortlisted for the 2015 Red House Children's Book Award Two elephants and an old Border collie are the stars of Megan Rix’s wonderfully heart-warming new animal story. It’s 1917 and as the First World War rages, Cullen’s Circus is forced to close. With Albert their keeper gone, Shanti is forcibly parted from her calf Tara in a heart-wrenching scene. But Harvey the collie won’t leave the little elephant and the two set out to find Shanti. The animals are real characters, their loyalty and bravery in stark contrast to some – though by no means all – of the humans. Tara and Harvey’s journey feels completely credible and there won’t be a dry eye in the house for the final chapters. There are cameo appearances for Beatrix Potter, Elgar and Houdini, but the story – as with all Megan Rix’s books – belongs to the animals. ~ Andrea Reece
Award-winning Tony Robinson has an outstanding record for bringing the past to life. Here his books on World War 1 and World War 11 are presented in one bumper volume. Through factual accounts, quizzes, diagrams and a great many pictures the quirky details of the conflicts as well as the more pedestrian and well- known ones are explained in a way that is both intriguing and memorable. Tony Robinson never trivialises the war but he handles a lot of information lightly which makes the finding out fun!
Interest Age 9+ Reading Age 8+ Children are hyper-sensitive to unfairness, and the lives described in this Barrington Stoke World War One novel are full of episodes of arbitrary cruelty making for compulsive reading. When brothers Bert and Frank are orphaned they go to live at St Patrick’s orphanage. It’s a terrible place, with the priests the worst thing about it. The boys are soon sent from the orphanage to live in Australia, round the other side of the world. Despite Bert’s promise to his little brother that he’ll always look after him, the two are forced apart, only to meet years later on the battlefield of Gallipoli, where Bert gets the chance to be true to his word at last. Written specifically with dyslexic or struggling readers in mind, this short novel tells a powerful, dramatic story and has a wide appeal. ~ Andrea Reece Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 9+. Read more on why Tony Bradman wrote Anzac Boys here. 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.
Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 8+ There are all sorts of stories being told about World War One, this one, based on the true story of the Quintinshill Rail Disaster, is particularly unusual and moving. With Dad away fighting, James, Belle and William are left to cope alone when their mum dies. Desperate to avoid going into a Home, James decides to take his little brother and sister to track down their father. Stowaways on a train, they become victims of Britain’s worst ever rail disaster. Catherine MacPhail contrasts the harshness of the children’s neighbour with the friendly troops they meet on the train; indeed to James there’s something magical about the train and for all its horror the crash seems to release them from a worse fate. There are elements of poetry in the telling of this haunting little novel. ~ Andrea Reece Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+ 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.
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 | 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+
'Lest we forget'
It is 100 years since the end of WW1 and even though there are now no people alive today who experienced it first-hand, its impact on the world is still apparent today.
Throughout the anniversary years of WW1 there have been a lot of books published for children, and WW1 appears more prominently in the school curriculum, so we will be selecting our favourites, both fiction and non-fiction. We hope it will inspire children never to forget the sacrifices made by their forbears.
World War One, WW1, The Great War, 1914-1918, was on a scale previously unknown. Millions of lives were lost and vast areas of land destroyed. It was triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, on 28th June 1914, in Sarajevo.
Described as the First World War, because it involved countries from every inhabited continent in the World although the vast majority of the fighting took place on what became known as the Western and Eastern fronts, on either side of Germany.
The Battle of the Somme (1st July - 18 November 1916) was one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War, as the British and French armies engaged the Germans in a devasting battle of attrition, leaving over one million dead and wounded on all sides.
The first World War paved the way for major economic, political and social change and the map of Europe was redrawn. In Britain the labour and suffrage movements grew in strength and support. Our Royal family cut ties with their German ancestry and took the new name of the House of Windsor.
After the armistice on 11 November 1918 The League of Nations was formed with the aim of ensuring such a terrible conflict would never again occur. But with battle-weakened countries unable to defend themselves and rise of fascism, the world was at war once again in 1939.
Barrington Stoke, the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers, has launched a special new website dedicated to literacy and World War One. Reading War is packed with rich content relating to the themes of two Barrington Stoke titles, Over the Line and Tilly’s Promise, with videos, teachers’ guides and stories, diaries and other reading materials created specially for the site. See www.readingwar.co.uk for more.
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