Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Today we're continuing our look at books about WWI.


Water Song by Suzanne Weyn. In this retelling of The Frog Prince, Emma goes to her family estate in Belgium, only to be trapped by the war. Then she finds an American soldier suffering a poison gas attack, and he's swimming in her well.

Unraveling Freedom: The Battle for Democracy on the Home Front During World War I by Ann Bausum. During WWI, the US government curtailed many freedoms on the homefront--such as outlawing the teaching of German. Bausum outlines the changes made, and how the effects still linger today.

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway. This is a good one to give to teens who think they don't like Hemingway. It's the story of a love affair between an American soldier and a British nurse in WWI, and the sacrifices one will make.


Kipling's Choice by Geert Spillebeen, translated from the Flemish by Terese Edelstein. When war breaks out in Europe in 1914, Rudyard Kipling is one of the loudest voices calling for British involvement. When England joins, he leads the recruitment calls. It breaks his and his son's hearts that John's poor eyesight means he cannot be in the first wave, especially as his friends keep going over. He still feels this way even as his friends start dying. Rudyard pulls every string he can to get his son a commission. John's first battle is also his last. This heart-breaking tale is framed as his life flashes before him somewhere in Belgium. Based on a true story.

Crossing Stones by Helen Frost. Muriel graduates from high school in 1917. She has strong opinions and is caught between what she feels and wants, and what others expect her to be. Across the creek live her family's best friends. All members of the family are constantly traveling over the stones in the water, running back and forth between the houses. But when each family sends a son to the war, some things will never be the same. Once you finish it, read the author's note and she'll show you all the clues she buried in the form to tell you have the relationships between characters.

After the Dancing Days by Margaret Rostkowski. Annie's horrified by the wounded veterans returning from WWI, but starts volunteering at her father's veteran's hospital. There she befriends Andrew and finds some closure after the death of her uncle, who died in the War.


The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman. Probably the definitive look at the causes of, and the first month of the war.

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Lawson. When her uncle dies and leaves her his homesteading claim, Hattie leaves Iowa for Montana to prove it up. An orphan, Hattie is tired for being bounced between various relatives, but proving the claim in order to keep it is hard for anyone, let alone a teenaged girl living by herself. In addition to being an excellent look at homesteading, it's a great look at life on the homefront during WWI.

What books about WWI do you recommend?

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