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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.
An excellent introductory history of the First World War told in short, accessible chapters, this describes some of the key moments of the conflict and some of the reasons why it was so much more devastating than had been anticipated. Opening with the then widespread belief at the time that it would be ‘over by Christmas’ key military moments such as the zeppelin campaign, the Battle of Jutland and the devastating battle of the Somme are described as well as the unlikely but true events including the famous football match on Christmas Day 1914.
Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK.Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2013 - Best Book with Facts In personal jottings, photos and pictures, this scrapbook brings alive a pioneering black footballer and British officer in the First World War who lived outside the limitations of his age - from Walter's childhood in an orphanage through his footballing years at Spurs and Northampton to the Western Front, highlighting the Christmas Day Truce of 1914, Walter's officer training - pipe, moustache and all! - ending with his death on the Somme, his memorials and his legacy.
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.
Best-selling John Boyne gives a poignant insight into the First World War as seen through the eyes of a young boy whose father goes away to fight and returns shell shocked. Alfie is only five when his father signs up as a soldier. Left to be the man of the house and to take care of his mother, Alfie soon suspects that something terrible has happened to his father. Working as a shoe-shine boy to earn much needed money to keep the family afloat, Alfie uncovers the truth about his father and also learns about the terrible cost of the war on everyone around him. John Boyne’s naïve narrator will feel familiar to all those who loved The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
Can a pigeon save the two hundred American soldiers who are trapped behind the enemy lines? American farm-boy Joe, who shouldn’t really be fighting anyway because he is under-age, is useless at most things but he is brilliant at training pigeons. It is his job to make sure that his pigeon can fly the 25 miles necessary to the get the message through and he is sure they can! An exciting story which brings alive a little known aspect of World War 1. A Piece of Passion from Kate Paice, Commissioning Editor for Children’s Fiction and Poetry for A&C Black (an imprint of Bloomsbury) Terry Deary is the master of historical non-fiction for kids, and his World War I Tales show him on top form. These fascinating true tales give us some unexpected viewpoints on the 'Great War'. The fears of young men forced into danger, the misery of a German bombing crew who would rather be home with their families, the frustration of a girl who just wants to do her bit… In all these tales, Terry Deary reminds us that wars are fought by people just like us – and that, mostly, those people would rather not be made to fight.
Millie Watson is growing up with the ever-present threat of German bombs. No lights are allowed to show at night and no sounds must be made when the great German Zeppelins are flying overhead. Kept afloat with hot air and filled with German soldiers armed with bombs, the Zeppelins spell danger for the people below. When a Zeppelin springs a leak and comes to ground unexpectedly, Millie gets the chance to tell the Germans exactly what she thinks of them! A Piece of Passion from Kate Paice, Commissioning Editor for Children’s Fiction and Poetry for A&C Black (an imprint of Bloomsbury)Terry Deary is the master of historical non-fiction for kids, and his World War I Tales show him on top form. These fascinating true tales give us some unexpected viewpoints on the 'Great War'. The fears of young men forced into danger, the misery of a German bombing crew who would rather be home with their families, the frustration of a girl who just wants to do her bit… In all these tales, Terry Deary reminds us that wars are fought by people just like us – and that, mostly, those people would rather not be made to fight.
These true stories of life in the front line of World War 1 are packed full of detail of the daring exploits of the young men who took part in them. Drawn from letters and diaries and therefore including first hand accounts, these stories capture the anguish, dread and the excitement of the young men who took part in the desperate action on a number of fronts including in the trenches in France, in the deadly battles against the German fleet at sea and in the recently formed Royal Flying Corps. In was in the latter that the German’s newly fangled and deadly dangerous tanks were encountered. An additional War Report at the end of each chapter adds further authentic detail making this a rich source of information as well as a collection of exciting stories. A Piece of Passion from Editor, Andrew Simmons World War I: Scottish Tales of Adventure is an amazing book that brings to life vividly what is was really like to be in the thick of combat during the First World War – on land, on sea and in the air. Allan is a brilliant communicator who is able to bring out different aspects of the experience, so it’s not just the bravery and the heroism that come through – he also conveys the horror and the fear that must have permeated the battlefield. As a trained historian, he is also meticulous about historical detail and context, which to my mind make him one of the best children’s authors writing today.
The best-selling author of War Horse tells a deeply moving story which recreates the terribly legacies of both the First and the Second World Wars in the deeply moving story about how a young boy discovers the truth about his family. Growing up just after World War Two, Michael lives alone with his mother. Together they visit two elderly women who looked after his father as a boy. What is the real story of his father? The truth is a story full of courage which Michael will hold close to himself for ever. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for A Medal For Leroy a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I knew I was in for a treat when this book came to me, and I definitely wasn't disappointed. A true tear jerker this book. Absolutely loved it and couldn't have asked for anything better from Michael.' Scroll down to read more reviews... Exclusive Offer on Michael's own website: Buy a Medal for Leroy and get Little Manfred free!
War in the air was a dangerous but thrilling experience for the young men who risked their lives in the new fangled aeroplanes. When Alfred’s skill with a camera is spotted during training he is sent off to join the brave young pilots in the Royal Flying Corp so that he can take photographs from behind the German lines and bring back vital information. In his diary to his sister Alfred brings to life the excitement and the terrible danger of these missions and the amazing bravery of the young men who carried them out.
When Albert joins the army in December 1914 he is trained ready to go and fight in the trenches in France. Initially, many thought the war would be over by Christmas but now it is clear that it could go on for a long time. Conditions in the trenches are tough. Albert is cold, wet, lice-ridden – and in constant fear for his life. Christmas Day is approaching fast. Will it be just the same as every other day? That is what everyone is expecting but, as Christmas Day dawns it soon turns out that soldiers on both sides of non-man’s-land have very special plans. Christmas Day 1914 tells of one days of friendship in the midst of total carnage.
This largely pictorial insight into the First World War sets out the story of the war from Outbreak to the Final Shots across fourteen big pages of illustrations with flaps that can be lifted to reveal further information. The major topics covered are life in the trenches, the dramatic war at sea, the war in the skies conducted in aeroplanes which were only just safe to fly in and the war as it spread to Turkey. Readers will be easily drawn in by the illustrations but will also learn many facts from the text.
'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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