|Stories of World War One by Tony Bradman|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Wonderful collection of short stories from twelve of our best writers for young people, exploring all aspects of World War I. From shell shock to the Easter Rising in Ireland, so many topics are illuminated. Highly recommended in this anniversary year.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: April 2014|
|External links: Author's website|
World War One, or the Great War as it was known at the time, was a cataclysmic war. Millions died and life was changed forever for the survivors - for the women of Britain, and for the working classes and ruling classes alike. 2014 is the centenary of its outbreak and the redoubtable Tony Bradman has gathered together a dozen of our best writers for young people to create an anthology of short stories to commemorate the anniversary.
You'll meet soldiers in the trenches, injured veterans coming home and men lost in shell shock. But you'll also read about girls producing food and nursing the wounded, little boys learning about the real nature of heroism, children of Polish heritage being mistaken for German and bullied and ignored. You'll be both moved and surprised. And you'll learn a great deal without ever feeling bored or lectured.
What I love most is that these stories are so different. We know a great deal about the horrors of the trenches during this devastating war and we know something about shell shock, too. But we forget about the struggle for Irish independence that was going on while young Irish men were fighting for Britain, as Oisin McGann shows us. We forget the Land Girls doing vital work on the home front, but Linda Newbery reminds us. Courage and sacrifice wasn't the preserve of young men born and bred in Blighty, and we know this because Jamila Gavin gives us the story of Khudadad Khan, the first non-British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross. And that's just three of the topics taken on in Stories of World War One.
I couldn't pick a favourite. Partly, it seems tasteless to do that; partly, I think you should buy the book and read all the stories yourself. Just look at the line-up. In addition to the writers already mentioned, there's Malorie Blackman, Tim Bowler, Ian Beck, Nigel Hinton, Adele Geras, Geraldine McCaughrean, Sophie Masson, Leslie Wilson and Paul Dowswell. It's a veritable hall of fame. Truly, every story feels personal and heartfelt. Some are sad. Some are actually uplifting in a strange way. But all of them will make you think.
Stories of World War One comes highly recommended by me to all readers. But teachers and school librarians should take particular note. It will make a great addition to the communal shelves.
You can read more book reviews or buy Stories of World War One by Tony Bradman at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Stories of World War One by Tony Bradman at Amazon.com.
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