Evan's Gallipoli by Kerry Greenwood
Allen and Unwin, 2013. ISBN 9781743311356
(Age: 11+) Warmly recommended. War. Gallipoli. With a set up similar to those encountered in the Scholastic My Australian story series, and Penguin's Our Australian girl, this diary format story of a lad's time spent at Gallipoli is sure to win readers. Fourteen year old Evan accompanies his father as he goes to Gallipoli, to offer not only physical things to alleviate their suffering, lice powder and the like, but also religious help for those in need. But they are totally unprepared for what they find. Separated from their soldiers, they are recaptured by the Turks, there follows a road journey in which they escape to Greece, before returning to Australia. Along the way, Evan meets up with Abdul, a Muslim boy being used as a pawn to try to persuade his powerful father to fight, and the trio see some of the sights of war not usually found in history books.
Being a captive of the Turks allows Evan to describe the Gallipoli from a different perspective, one not always seen in our books (Candles at dawn by Serpil Ural was published in 2004 by Limelight Press). Well researched, Greenwood's book is informative as well as entertaining, and will appeal to middle school readers looking for a different perspective on a subject lately often written about, as the 100th anniversary of World War One (1914) and Gallipoli (1915) come along.