Reading about World War I

Nonfiction for children and young adults:
Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting by Jim Murphy. World War I and the Christmas Eve, 1914 spontaneous cease-fire. Reviewed by Betsy at Fuse #8.
The War to End All Wars: World War I by Russell Freedman. Reviewed at Bookish Blather.
Primary Source Accounts of World War I by Glenn Sherer and Marty Fletcher. From a series on various American wars published by (Enslow Publishers).
Remember the Lusitania! by Diana Preston. A children’s/young adult version of the adult nonfiction title by the same author. The books includes lots of personal anecdotes about individuals who survived the sinking of the Lusitania and stories of some of the people who did not. It’s a solid, brief (89 pages with pictures) introduction to the subject, but it felt a little rushed. I hardly had time to get to know the characters that the author spotlighted before the entire episode was over and done with.
Unraveling Freedom: The Battle for Democracy on the Home Front During World War I by Ann Bausum. Reviewed by Betsy at Fuse #8.

Adult nonfiction:
The Proud Tower: A portrait of the World Before the War, 1890-1914 by Barbara W. Tuchman. I’m working on this one–about halfway through. The author spent about 200 pages on the Dreyfus affair in France, and if nothing else, I feel as if I know a lot more about French modern history than I did before. Reviewed at Resolute Reader.
The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman. I started this book once but didn’t finish. I think after I get through with The Proud Tower, I’ll be ready for guns. The Guns of August won Ms. Tuchman a Pulitzer Prize for history. Reviewed at Resolute Reader.
The Zimmerman Telegram by Barbara Tuchman.
Nicholas and Alexandra: The Classic Account of the Fall of the Romanov Dynasty by Robert K. Massie. I read this classic biography/tragedy back when I was in high school or college, and I remember it as fascinating. It’s since been updated with new discoveries made about the bodies that were found and from information found in Soviet archives.
Castles of Steel: Britain, Germany, and the Winning of the Great War at Sea by Robert K. Massie.
Dreadnought by Robert K. Massie.
To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild. Semicolon review here.
The Great Silence: Britain from the Shadow of the First World War to the Dawn of the Jazz Age by Juliet Nicolson. Semicolon review here.
Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy by Diana Preston.

Children’s and young adult fiction:
Fly, Cher Ami, Fly!: The Pigeon Who Saved the Lost Battalion by Robert Burleigh. Based on a true story about carrier pigeons used by the U.S. Army during World War I.
War Game: Village Green to No-Man’s Land by Michael Foreman. A longer picture book story of a soccer game during the Christmas truce of 1914.
Winnie’s War by Jenny Moss. Semicolon review here.
The Best Bad Luck I Ever had by Kristin Levine. Semicolon review here.
When Christmas Comes Again: The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer, New York City to the Western Front, 1917 by Beth Seidel Levine.
Rilla of Ingleside by L.M Montgomery.
Betsy and the Great World by Maud Hart Lovelace. Betsy travels through Europe instead of going immediately to college after high school, and she sees the arms build-up and the beginning of World War I. Reviewed at Library Hospital.
Betsy’s Wedding by Maud Hart Lovelace. Reviewed at Reading on a Rainy Day.
Kipling’s Choice by Geert Spillebeen. I read this book a couple of years ago, but never got around to reviewing it. It’s a fictional account of the death of John Kipling, son of Rudyard Kipling, near Loos, France in 1915. Here it is reviewed at Chasing Ray.
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. Joey, the farm horse, is sold to the army and sent to the Western front. Reviewed at Another Cookie Crumbles.
Without Warning: Ellen’s Story, 1914-1918 by Dennis Hamley. Ellen Wilkins becomes a nurse to follow her brother to war.
A Time of Angels by Karen Hesse. In 1918 Boston, Hannah Gold must face her own wartime suffering as the influenza epidemic sweeps through her family and town.
Eyes Like Willy’s by Juanita Havill. A French brother and sister, Guy and Sarah Masson, and their Austrian friend Willy are separated by the war.
After the Dancing Days by Margaret Rostkowski. We read this YA novel for my English/History class at homeschool co-op last year. Annie is a thirteen year old girl living in a small town in Kansas at the end of World War I. As she begins to visit the returning soldiers at the veterans’ hospital where her father works as a doctor, Annie is at first repulsed and frightened by the severely injured men. However, she comes to be friends with them, one in particular, even though her mother is opposed to Annie’s hospital visits and wants her to forget about the war and its consequences.
My Brother’s Shadow by Monica Schroder. This YA novel is brand new, published in September by Farrar Straus Giroux, and I got an ARC from the publisher. It’s about a German boy, Moritz, towards the end of the war in 1918 and how he comes to see the war and its results differently as he grows up in its aftermath. Moritz’s brother comes home severely wounded from the front, and Moritz must choose between his loyalty to his brother and his mother’s new socialist way of seeing politics and the world. I thought the story was good, but the fact that entire books is written in present tense distracted me. I suppose the intent is a “you are there” feel, but I would have preferred the distance and objectivity of past tense.

Adult fiction:
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.
To the Last Man: A Novel of the First World War by Jeff Shaara.
No Graves As Yet by Anne Perry is the first in her World War I mystery/suspense series. I don’t like her writing in these books as much as I did the Victorian Charlotte Pitt mysteries, but if you’re interested in the time period, they’re worth a try.

Of course, there are many, many more books about and set during World War I, but these are the ones with which I have some familiarity.

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