I must admit I have been avoiding the World Wars with the kids purely because I think they are complex, scary topics and I want to do them justice but I also don’t want to cause nightmares. Recently my daughter started asking question about the start of the First World War – she is fascinated by Queen Victoria and found the fact that three of her grandsons were on opposing sides intriguing. So we started to look at the build up to the First World War. And then this book arrived in the post and I stashed it away. I wanted to rather focus on the First World War before we start reading about the Second. But I happen to know someone who is looking at the Second World War and I think this book is an excellent resource which has been specially written for kids around 9+years so I thought it would be good to write a review, share pictures and thoughts on it, even though we are not actually using it YET.
Let me start by saying this book is TRUELY written for children (they say 10+ to read but realistically my 8 year old would manage fine). So it is aimed at that market. Which means they have hidden the more horrific side. They are NO disturbing pictures – what I mean by that – no pictures of dead bodies, of people being shot at point blank range and even the holocaust pictures are some of the most child-appropriate that I have seen. There are a number of pictures showing battle scenes and the result of battles – the destruction, but no dead bodies. So if you have sensitive kids I think this book really would be okay.
It really is written for the kids but they have not ignored important facts or dumbed it down in any way. They have stuck to the facts, included all significant events yet written it in a manner that keeps the gory, nightmare-inducing aspects out. I have really been impressed with this.
The layout is designed to make it easy for kids to digest. Double pages with lots of black and white photographs, maps and diagrams. And the paragraphs are short and concise. Really easy to read.
This book is an introduction to a vast and complex topic. They manage to cover a LOT of points from the build-up, to different stages of the war, how the war affected people (like the home front, the resistance and the Holocaust) and the the end of the war and new technologies that arose as a result of the war. There really is a LOT covered but it is all written in the kid-friendly style, of easy to digest paragraphs.
I really liked the way the broke the war done into the significant battles/ stages and how the used multiple maps to show the different stages. Really liked this aspect.
I thought it was very easy to read and understand, they cover a lot but don’t do gory details. I have really been impressed with this book- really Impressed (oh and in case anyone is wondering it was written in partnership with the Imperial War Museum – so you can be assured the facts are correct).
We were given our copy of this stunning book by the publishers.
I have seen it in a few bookstores or you can buy it online from Amazon The Story of the Second World War for Children
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