It’s Remembrance Day today, and this year Remembrance Day seems to have a particular grip on public awareness in the UK because it’s the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of this century.
This morning, Philippa Dickinson, MD of Random House Children’s Books, tweeted the title of a book that she thought would help children to understand Remembrance Day: Teresa Breslin’s Remembrance.
There’s a fair number of children’s non-fiction titles about Remembrance Day itself listed on Amazon, but I am not familiar with them.
Here, though, are four books that I think give children and teenagers a strong sense of the horrors of fighting the First World War:
Warhorse by Michael Morpurgo
Private Peaceful Michael Morpurgo
Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer (The realities of trench warfare are only a peripheral part of this book, but a powerful one.)
Testament of Youth by Vera Britain
Of course, Remembrance Day isn’t just about soldiers in the First World War, but, though I could think of several great children’s books about the Second World War (among them Anne Frank’s Diary, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Carrie’s War, Goodnight Mister Tom, The Endless Steppe), I couldn’t think of any about the experience of being a soldier or of working with soldiers in wars other than the First World War other than Bernard Ashley’s The Little Soldier.
Please comment or tweet if you can recommend books about the realities of fighting in the First World War or any other wars.