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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?


pointythings Tue 13-Nov-12 18:41:33

I'm seconding both I Am David and The Book Thief. DD1 has done Private Peaceful in Yr7 and got a lot out of it, so would recommend that one too.

ISingSoprano Tue 13-Nov-12 18:18:23

Another vote for Private Peaceful - a relatively easy read but a very thought provoking theme.

DeWe Tue 13-Nov-12 18:10:57

What about The Eagle has landed (Jack Higgins). I read it for a competition at about that age, and was surprised to find I enjoyed it.

If he can get it, there's Mystery at Witchend by Malcolm Saville which is war related. (Get GGBP/hardback as armada is heavily abridged)

Takver Tue 13-Nov-12 14:43:05

"Biggles, Pioneer Air Fighter" - tongue in cheek suggestion, but he might enjoy reading it alongside a more 'serious' book to compare the different attitudes / approaches to dealing with war in fiction now and then!

BraaaaaainsButterfield Mon 12-Nov-12 20:28:59

Another vote for Private Peaceful, currently going down well with my Year 8. The writing style makes it easy to read but it's not simplistic and covers some challenging themes.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 12-Nov-12 20:26:17

My 13 yr old DD read Private Peaceful recently...she seemed quite thoughtful afterwards, said it was good. (I've not read it myself).

The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas is (IMO) not a good book at all.

(I used to love reading my big bros Alistair McCleans at this sort of age... I read whatever was in the house, it was a strange mix of those and mum's Womans' Weekly Romantic Fiction! grin )

choccyp1g Mon 12-Nov-12 20:19:11

Roald Dahl : "Going Solo", the famous children's author Roald Dahl retells his experiences as a British fighter pilot during World War II.

pithy Mon 12-Nov-12 18:27:14

Colditz - the story of the escape bids from the fortress that was Colditz Castle- as told by the POWs themselves. I loved this as a teenager.

sashh Sun 11-Nov-12 01:45:04

Another vote for the silver sword.

When I was your DS age I read about escapes from Colditz, SOE opperations and accounts of the resistance. I can't remember the titles but amazon turned up Violette Szabo: The Life That I Have

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

Seconding Empire of the Sun as a great read.

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).

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

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

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

All Quiet on the Western Front?

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".

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.

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

The Book Thief.

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 ?

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.

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.

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

Just googled it - The First Casualty.

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.

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