Review Blog

Sep 13 2013

World War 1 tales by Terry Deary

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Bloomsbury, 2013
The last flight ISBN 9781408191682
The war game ISBN 9781408191743
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Historical fiction. World War One. Early chapter book.
In the series, World War 1 tales, Terry Deary offers stories that are not well known to his readers.
In The last flight, letters from Alfred to his sister back home outline his extraordinary luck at not being sent to the trenches during World War One. He was able to volunteer his photography skills when the men were being photographed and so from there moved into the Air Force where he and a pilot were sent to photograph enemy lines before the push against the German Army in 1917.
The letters reveal a great deal of information about life for a young man in the army at this time, and much of this would be new to the age group reading this easy to absorb series of books. At just 60 pages, with large print, some informative illustrations, wide margins and information added at the back about some of the things mentioned in the text, this series of books will be readily picked up by the target audience. In the back is an outline of the others in Deary's series, Viking tales, Pirate tales and Victorian tales. As yet there are only two in the current series about war.
The second, The war game, outlines the story of Christmas Eve in 1914, when Germans and British soldiers came together to spend the evening together, playing a football match. Told through the eyes of two men, Charlie and Alfred, the readers will absorb the boredom of life in the trenches at the time, the orders given by those above in rank, and the humanity of the ordinary soldiers and their wanting to be safe at home. Bloomsbury's website lists several more in this series.
Fran Knight

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