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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.
Award-winning Sonya Hartnett’s deeply moving The Silver Donkey is full of a soldier’s tales which he tells to the two children who find him alive but blind, struggling to get back from the war to his home across the channel. But the tales the soldier tells are not ones about war; they are all stories which one way or another connect to the precious and tiny silver donkey he carries in his pocket. Each beautifully told tale has a quietly made point which reflects the thoughtfulness of the soldier who, while waiting between the children’s visits, reflects on the war giving deeply moving insights into the great sadness he feels for the inhumanity of one man to another that he has observed. Lovereading Comment....Set in France in the the First World War this is a stunning piece of timeless and inspirational storytelling for younger readers from the 2002 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize-winning author of Thursday's Child. It's the story of an injured young soldier found by two young children one morning. As they help him to recover from some of his injuries the soldier tells the most evocative and at times painful stories all linked to The Silver Donkey, a keepsake in his pocket. As the days pass and they struggle to help the soldier reach home, the sisters learn the truth behind the silver donkey and what the precious object means: honesty, loyalty and courage.
In the Usborne True Stories series, this is a clear introduction to the First World War. In well thought out chapters Paul Dowswell tells the story from the fateful moment in August 1914 when the first declarations of war were made. Naively, the expectations at that time were that it would be a brief affair that would be all over by Christmas. What happened in the four long years that followed, in major incidents such as the Battle of Jutland and the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, as well as in less well-known stories, provides a good foundation of information for all those wanting to remember it during the centenary year.
A terrific page-turner set during World War One in which two children befriend a man who lives alone on an island in the Isles of Scilly. As their friendship develops he tells the children of a dreaded curse that has afflicted a nearby island. Determined to find out more and to lift the curse it becomes a race against time and against all the other inahbitants of the Isles of Scilly for the children to prevent the curse from striking again. The author's ability to interweave fact and fiction into an empowering adventure is second to none.
One of the most heart-warming stories you'll read around war, this is a classic Christmas story from the bestselling author/illustrator team of Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman.With the anniversary of WWI upon us this tells the story of one of the most poignant events, the Christmas Truce. Yet from this one event Michael spins an incredible story in which you will feel so drawn in by the characters created by Michael and because of that it will leave you, the reader, whateveryour age with goosebumps.
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Best Book of the Decade & One of our 'Must Reads'. It will seem odd when reading this book that the author enjoyed writing it the most of all the 90 or so he has written so far. That’s because it’s the one that most touched a nerve with him, that he was most passionate about and as a consequence he lost himself completely in it while writing. The story of a young farm boy who took on the nightmare of the trenches in the first world war is essential reading not just for a child starting out in life but for parents of any age. It’s a brilliant story about childhood, about growing up too young, it’s about loss and friendships and love and war. The author’s anger at the appalling treatment of young men in the story is clear and the hope is that the British government will realise their wrong-doing and pardon ALL those young men whose story this was written for.
Award-winning Linda Newbery uses the ruins of an old house as a way of unifying two stories about two young men in a thought-provoking view of World War 1. Contemporary Greg comes across the Shell House on a bicycle ride and wonders about the story behind it. Increasingly drawn to it, within its history he uncovers the tragic story of Edmund. The son of the house, Edmund, is scarred by his experiences at the front in World War 1 the horrors of which are made worse by the disjunction between the reality of the conditions endured by the soldiers and the smug and ignorant attitudes of his family and their friends. Greg unravels Edmund’s story bringing his own contemporary views of the war into the frame while also identifying with Edmund as both search for their acceptance of their identity.
From the horror of the trenches, to the devastating reality seen daily by those nursing the wounded, they struggle to survive. Nothing will ever be the same again. Remembrance is a powerful and engrossing novel about love and war, from the Carnegie Medal-winning author Theresa Breslin. 1915 - Scotland. A group of teenagers from two families meet for a summer's picnic, friends despite their social differences. Mostly romance is on their minds, but the peace of the day is shattered by the sound of a plane flying overhead, the war across the Channel is soon to tear them away from such youthful pleasures. All too soon the horror of what is to become known as The Great War engulfs them, their friends and the whole village.
'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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