Monday, November 13, 2006

Book Review: War Game

Title: War Game
Author: Michael Foreman
Age Suitability: 7 to 11

I picked this picture book up from our library's book sale a couple of weeks ago, thinking it would fit nicely with our twentieth century history focus. I pulled it out today - neatly timed after Remembrance Day - to help bridge the gap between Angel on the Square and its sequel, The Impossible Journey, which is still working its way through Amazon's order system.

The book describes how four young men from a Suffolk village enlist in the British army in 1914 and are sent to serve in the trenches. When Christmas comes, the British and Germans stop fighting and join together for a game of football in No Man's Land. After this brief respite hostilities resume and only a few days later one of the young men pays the ultimate price.

Foreman is a well known illustrator whose own pictures are mixed with some photographic images of items. There are no graphic photos of the horrors of war, though they are apparent from the text. It is a very unusual book, tackling a subject that is not normally dealt with in picture books, and in an almost poetic way. Good books on World War I are few and far between, and as a suitable introduction to the subject for younger children this one may be unique.

1 comment:

Alice said...

I can't tell you how much I am enjoying these book reviews.

The plot of this one reminds me of the very moving story of the German and American soldiers singing verses of Silent Night in German and English back and forth across on a quiet Christmas Eve.