Anyone who reads our blog probably knows by now that we LOVE history but I have admitted before that the World Wars are something that I have not really jumped into just because I was worried about the content and my kids are sensitive kids. However both my kids are interested in the World Wars and we have started to deal with them so I have been searching for what I consider appropriate resources – resources that are factually accurate, not missing crucial facts but at the same time not too graphic and nightmare inducing. And I have found two books which I think fit the bill perfectly – The Story of the First World War for Children (1914-1918) and The Story of the Second World War for Children.
I have already written a post about the Story of the Second World War book so this is going to be our review of the Story of the First World War Book.
This is a book that has been written for Kids (recommended age 10+) and there are no gory, graphic pictures in it. However it is a book dealing with war so there is no getting around the fact that people died and where badly injured. But to give anyone concerned about content these are two examples of what I considered the most “graphic” of the photos (so not bad and neither of my kids commented about anything in the book being scary).
The book has been laid out in an easy to read style – a topic over a double page, with shortish paragraphs and good images.
So what exactly is covered by the book (sorry if this is a bit of a list but I know lots of people want to know the detail of what is covered)
- Europe Divided (Introducing the climate for the start of the war)
- Gearing Up for War (The arms race)
- The Peace is shattered (The assassination and I really liked the detail here, they mention the failed bomb attack and that the assassination occurred on the drive to the hospital after the driver took a wrong turn – we like this type of detail)
- Europe goes to war
- The British Army (We liked these pages where it gives the kids a better understanding of the differences between the different armed forces)
- The fighting begins
- The Eastern Front
- The Western Front
- The French Army (similar to the British Army page, we liked this breakdown)
- Digging In
- Trench Warfare
- The Great Guns (my son likes learning about the different weapons so this was a good starting point but he does like going into more detail)
- The Germany Army (again like the British and French army pages)
- The Gallipoli Campaign (I like that they talk about the significant battles and events and introduce the names and events and don’t leave this detail out)
- The War at Sea
- War in Africa
- Chemical Warfare (this can be a sensitive issue but I think they handled it well)
- Italy enters the war
- War in the Air
- 1016 a Bar of Battles
- The first tanks (popular with my son)
- America joins the war (again I liked that they included the detail about the Germany trying to plot with Mexico)
- 1017 No end in sight
- War in the Desert
- Women at War
- 1918 The last Great Battles
- 1918 the war ends
- Animals at War (we liked that they included sections like this)
- Legacy of War
- The Art of war (I love that they included images of war posters)
I am really impressed with this book. We have read it cover to cover and have found it informative but not scary. It covers a lot and yes there are areas where we are going to go back to and go into more detail but if you are looking for a World War 1 book that covers all major issues and is appropriate for kids then I highly recommend this one. (And just to clarify my kids are aged 8 and 11 and although we read this book together my eight year also read it to himself without any issues).
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