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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.
A powerful combination of historic detail, timeless narrative and action-packed plot. The author places three teenagers, one American, one British and the other German at the centre of the story in the lead up to the 11th day of the 11th month at 11am. But can each of them find the strength, bravery and understanding within themselves in order to get back safely to their homelands? If you're on the look out for a nail-biting, page-turning thriller - a junior le Carre - then this is for you. .............................. There is a helpful reading guide to accompany this book which you can download through the link (right) with discussion topics, creative writing ideas and further reading suggestions.
It’s 1917. In the trenches of France, miles from home, Stanley is a boy fighting a man’s war. He is a dog handler, whose dog must be so loyal that he will cross no-man’s-land alone under heavy fire to return to Stanley’s side, carrying a message that could save countless lives. But this journey is fraught with danger, and only the bravest will survive. As the fighting escalates and Stanley experiences the true horror of war, he comes to realize that the loyalty of his dog is the only thing he can rely on.Based on the fascinating true story of animals who gave their lives during the Great War, Soldier Dog is a heart-breaking book. Set against the devastating backdrop of WWI, this is a powerful story which will bring history to life for young readers. Read more about the inspiration behing Soldier Dog, and the research which went into writing the book, here.
Michael Morpurgo followed up his best-selling War Horse with this sequel which brilliantly describes life in the Devon countryside at the time of World War 1. Visiting his grandpa on the farm, a young boy loves to listen to the stories he tells. These include how, as a boy, his heart was broken when his beloved horse Joey was sent away to fight. Determined that they would stay together, even though he was too young to do so at the time, Grandpa signed up so that he could find his horse. Grandpa’s stories take the reader back to World War 1 and the time soon after – including the excitement of a ploughing match - but Grandpa also has a secret to share and he needs his grandson’s help to put it right! ------------------------------------------------- In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Farm Boy Lion a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I really like this book, not only because of the beautiful drawings and the historical tractor, but mostly because of how simple it is. With two characters, and one scene, it really shows what a success a book can be even if it is short and simple, and also gives the word that writing is always about the quality, not the quantity' Scroll down to read more reviews...
Interest Age 11+ Reading Age 8+. Second in a brand new time travel series by an award-winning author (the first was Tudor Rose). Will Rosie cope as a nurse in a WW1 Red Cross Hospital? Struggling with her inability to read and too proud to tell anyone Annie is miserable and lonely. When she is given a nurses watch from World War I she is suddenly swept back to the time of the war. Now she is working in a hospital under the eagle eye of Nurse Edith Cavell herself. All the horrors of the war are revealed to Rosie by the desperately wounded and shocked men she is treating; from them Rosie learns about the terrible human tragedies of war. A deeply moving story with a strong message. Barrington Stoke MD Mairi Kidd on the Timepiece series: “There is an increasing awareness of a gap in the market for female dyslexic and struggling readers. Anne Perry is an incredibly well-known author, particularly in libraries and overseas in markets like the USA. We are absolutely delighted that she has written her first Young Adult novels for young women who struggle with reading. Rosie, the title character, struggles too, and we believe that readers will really identify with her.” 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.
This powerful picture book captures both the optimism and the despair of the first months of the First World War. Only fifteen when the war is declared Sydney, like many other boys, longs to be old enough to have a crack at the bullying Kaiser. He watches as his father sets off for war with a spring in his step and his eyes shining. And he also sees just how wretched it makes his mother. Nonetheless, lying about his age, he signs up and arrives in France. Sydney gives his impressions of the war in two contrasting accounts. To his mother he writes reassuringly; for himself he records the absolute horror of it all and the different kinds of terrible deaths that befall his friends.
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.
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. Now a major movie, Private Peaceful is the stunning classic novel of love and war from Michael Morpurgo, beloved and bestselling author of War Horse.
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.
'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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