War Girls by Adele Geras, Melvin Burgess, Berlie Doherty, Mary Hooper, Anne Fine, Matt Whyman, Theresa Breslin, Sally Nicholls and Rowena House
|War Girls by Adele Geras, Melvin Burgess, Berlie Doherty, Mary Hooper, Anne Fine, Matt Whyman, Theresa Breslin, Sally Nicholls and Rowena House|
|Reviewer: Anne Thompson|
|Summary: This excellent collection of short stories by top authors for teens about the life changing effects of the First World War on a selection of very different young women will provoke questions and encourage readers to find out more. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 272||Date: June 2014|
|Publisher: Andersen Press|
This collection of short stories written by some of the leading writers for young adults today is a moving and engaging account of an aspect of the First World War not often covered in teen fiction. Each story explores how the war changed the lives of young women of that time forever as they learned to cope with loss and grief.
There is a vast range of literature being published to commemorate the centenary of World War One and this offering, in my view, is a must read. Although I am not always a huge fan of short stories I found this anthology utterly engrossing. As one would expect given the award winning authors involved including Adele Geras, Berlie Doherty, Melvin Burgess and Anne Fine there is not a weak story among them. The girls are all very different, coming from a range of backgrounds, some directly involved in the war and others left behind at home. They include a young nurse on the Front Line in Northern France, a courageous widow fighting to save her homeland at Gallipoli, a young singer entertaining the troops despite her own heartbreak and a French farmer’s daughter. The diversity of the characters and their experiences makes this book all the more poignant. The sense of loss for all these women is extremely moving and yet there is a feeling of hope too. The final story by Sally Nicholls deals with the generation of 'spare women' who went on to achieve so much that women today take for granted and to whom we should be so grateful. I felt that this was a particularly fitting finale.
Although this book would undoubtedly have a special appeal to female readers I do hope that boys will be encouraged to read this too. War Girls provides vivid depictions of a side of the First World War that receives less attention and is a valuable read for both teens and adults alike. It would be an excellent addition to senior school library shelves. The author biographies at the end of the book giving details of the inspiration for each of the stories are worth a read too. I will be recommending this one far and wide.
Thank you very much to the publishers Andersen Press for providing this copy for review.
Tilly's Promise by Linda Newbery tells the story of a young woman during this period of history and is accessible for more reluctant readers. For me the ultimate in First World War fiction for young people is the heartbreaking Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo. You might also enjoy The Minnow by Diana Sweeney. For more from Rowena House, try The Goose Road.
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You can read more book reviews or buy War Girls by Adele Geras, Melvin Burgess, Berlie Doherty, Mary Hooper, Anne Fine, Matt Whyman, Theresa Breslin, Sally Nicholls and Rowena House at Amazon.com.
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