Sunday, February 22, 2015

Winter Reading 2015 Christmas Truce


Shepard has taken details from firsthand accounts of the December 1914 Christmas Truce and used them to create a picture book version of the events. Written as a letter home from one of the British soldiers, the story includes facts about life in the trenches of World War I - but without making it too frightening for young readers. Descriptions of the dreary rain day after day and the mud sucking at their boots constantly help to add realism to the scenes. Other things, like the fact that some of the German soldiers had at one time lived in England and worked or attended school there, might surprise students and cause them to rethink their assumptions that all Germans were "bad guys." The author's note at the end of the story builds on this and explains that short-term truces have happened in other armed conflicts in different time periods.

This would be an excellent addition to a unit on WWI. It could start a class discussion or even be used as a model text for students who are writing up their own narratives based on research into the war. I would recommend this for any school library.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. You may visit the book's official webpage.

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