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Good WW1/2 related book for DS, Y9, to read and review, pls.

(34 Posts)
Erebus Fri 09-Nov-12 18:09:05

DS1 has to read a WW1 or 2 related book over 5 weeks and review it. He mentioned "All quiet on the Western Front", Anne Frank's diary (no!), they've studied "Hitler's Canary" already, and there's "Boy in the Striped Pyjamas". I gather there are several Michael Morpurgo ones ("Waiting for Anya").

Any other ideas? I thought of "Schindler's Ark" (List!). Do you think that would be OK for a reasonably clever 13 year old?


LizzieVereker Fri 09-Nov-12 18:16:24

Schindler's Ark has quite a dense prose style but is v good. If you want something challenging, how about Regeneration by Pat Barker, or Birdsong (might be too rude for a Year 9). When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit or I am David are good, and easier reads.

mumsneedwine Fri 09-Nov-12 19:27:08

Why not Anne Frank's Diary ? Mine read it in year 6 and were totally drawn in by it - it's a great commentary of being a teenager in war. We've been to Amsterdam and been to her house so very real. Could do War Horse (bit young ?). Or Goodnight Mr Tom.

Erebus Fri 09-Nov-12 21:40:05

The ishoo with AFD is that DS has already 'done' it in Y6, tbh, along with the rest of his cohort.

I confess we try to 'use' these opportunities to introduce DS to some maybe less 'obvious' influences (like, for a recent, modern artist, in Y5, instead of Hockney etc, DS2 did Sidney Nolan to allow him to 'explore' his Australian heritage!). But I think the story of Gallipoli might be too 'out there'!

Warhorse- mm, DS1 doesn't 'do' animals!! DH came up with that. ThoughDS's response has been a bit' doesn't something nasty happen? I'm not doing that!' which leads us to say 'welcome to war, son!'

Currently he's 'exploring' "Hunt for Red October"- cos he now says 'it's any war'... D'oh.

But thanks for the input!

fruitpastille Fri 09-Nov-12 21:43:31

The Silver Sword by Ian Serallier (sp?) is v.good. Not really a challenge for a good Y9 reader but not 'easy' either. It's about 3 child refugees in Europe trying to find their father. V.moving in parts but quite exciting too.

PandaG Fri 09-Nov-12 22:01:15

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society? Quite gentle but still thought provoking

Alone in Berlin - Hans Fallada - I didn't like it but others in Bk gp did, and fine for a Y9 iirc

fortyplus Fri 09-Nov-12 22:04:03

I remember enjoying Neville Shute's 'Pied Piper' at about age 11/12

northcoastmum Fri 09-Nov-12 22:06:31

Private Peaceful by Morpurgo is good - quite 'simple' but v moving, deals with someone being executed for deserting in WW1, so might be a diff angle.

Or Spies by Michael Frayn

Should be able to think of more...

Roseformeplease Fri 09-Nov-12 22:07:08

Last Train from / to ???? Kummersdorf. Totally brilliant - 2 children, both German but on different sides fleeing the arriving Russians at the end of the war. Surprisingly rarely read but pupils at my school love it.

Roseformeplease Fri 09-Nov-12 22:08:03

Or Ben Elton's WW1 story - can't remember the name but excellent and partly about pacifism.

Roseformeplease Fri 09-Nov-12 22:09:24

Just googled it - The First Casualty.

complexnumber Sat 10-Nov-12 13:13:45

The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall. Boys find a crashed German bomber.

Goodnight Mr Tom (also Back Home, another book by Michelle Magorian, about a girl who finds it hard to fit back in at home and in England after being evacuated to America)

Empire of the Sun - boy in concentration camp in China

Devil's Arithmetic - girl travels in time to a concentration camp

Does it have to be fiction?
If not how about Long Way Gone about a 13 year old forced to be a soldier in Sierra Leone.

The Morris Gleitzman trilogy on the Holocaust.

bruffin Sat 10-Nov-12 13:29:31

Yr 9s are 13/14year Olds. We did the Silver Sword in the juniors.

The Exeter Blitz by David.Rees is good if you can get hold of a copy. It's about a teenage living in Exeter during WWII and the blitz.

mumsneedwine Sat 10-Nov-12 14:14:35

How about an Alistair McQueen ? Where Eagles Dare is great fun (some violent bits but as you say, it's war). Ian Fleming ?

lljkk Sat 10-Nov-12 14:17:22

The Book Thief.

Follyfoot Sat 10-Nov-12 14:27:39

Goodnight Mr Tom is a really good read as has been said. There are lots listed here Dunno if any are of interest?

I've just finished Regeneration and some parts of it were difficult to leave behind when you close the book iykwim. Suppose thats the sign of a good book, but some of the images you are left with are very graphic.

Would he be allowed to review an anthology of poems? Some WW1 poetry is wonderful.

Roseformeplease Sat 10-Nov-12 15:17:53

I find boys don't enjoy "Goodnight Mr Tom" as it is a bit soppy. Would also second, "The Book Thief".

grovel Sat 10-Nov-12 16:47:38

All Quiet on the Western Front?

grovel Sat 10-Nov-12 16:52:12

If you went with All Quiet you could also buy the movie (£4 on Amazon).

Psammyad Sat 10-Nov-12 17:06:34

'Memoirs of an Infantry Officer' by Siegfried Sassoon?
(I haven't read it, but his first volume 'Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man' about his childhood is very readable, in fact could easily be skipped through by a good reader to add background).

Psammyad Sat 10-Nov-12 17:07:34

Seconding Empire of the Sun as a great read.

Lilymaid Sat 10-Nov-12 17:10:27

The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monserrrat (Atlantic convoys). There are also several by Alistair McLean - though these are thrillers rather than trying to convey more usual experiences of the time.

lljkk Sat 10-Nov-12 17:41:15

I nearly gave a copy of The Sun Also Rises to 13yo DS the other day. I think it deals with erectile dysfunction, though, he might find it too cringe-worthy.

cardibach Sat 10-Nov-12 21:49:24

I'd second Morpurgo's 'Private Peaceful'. IT is age appropriate, well written and thought provoking. HE'll enjoy it and I think that is important in promoting wider reading. If he is really looking to be challenged, what about 'Lord of the FLies' - set in a war (undefined) although not about it.

Erebus Sat 10-Nov-12 21:53:20

Thanks, all. I have far more material to work on, now!

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