12 World War I Novels and Nonfiction Books I’d Like to Read in 2012

War Through the Generations is focusing on World War I this year. Here a few of the books I’d like to read for that project.

Children’s and YA Fiction:
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo. “Joey, the farm horse, is sold to the army and sent to the Western front.” I’d like to read the book, then see the movie.
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo. “Private Thomas Peaceful lied about his age and left his family behind to fight in the First World War. While standing watch over a battlefield, Thomas spends the night reflecting on his life, aware that the war has changed him forever.”
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.”
The Shell House by Linda Newbery. “Greg explores a ruined English mansion, and meets Faith, a serious young woman who gives him a tour of the grounds. She also tells him about the past inhabitants, whose son disappeared after he returned home from fighting in World War I.”

Adult Fiction:
Strange Meeting by Susan Hill. Reviewed at A Work in Progress. “The trenches of the Western Front are the setting for this story of the extraordinary devotion that develops between silent, morose John Hillard, full of war’s futility, and his as yet unscathed trench mate, David Barton.”
How Many Miles to Babylon? by Jennifer Johnston. Reviewed by Dani at A Work in Progress. “When war breaks out in 1914, both Jerry and Alec sign up – yet for quite different reasons. On the fields of Flanders they find themselves standing together, but once again divided: as officer and enlisted man.”
To The Last Man by Jeff Shaara. “Spring 1916: the horror of a stalemate on Europe’s western front. France and Great Britain are on one side of the barbed wire, a fierce German army is on the other. Shaara opens the window onto the otherworldly tableau of trench warfare as seen through the eyes of a typical British soldier who experiences the bizarre and the horrible–a “Tommy” whose innocent youth is cast into the hell of a terrifying war.”
A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin. “In summer 1964, a distinguished-looking gentleman in his seventies dismounts on principle from a streetcar that was to carry him from Rome to a distant village, instead accompanying on foot a boy denied a fare. As they walk, he tells the boy the story of his life.”

Blood and Iron: Letters from the Western Front by Hugo Montagu Butterworth. “Butterworth was a dedicated and much-loved schoolmaster and a gifted cricketer, who served with distinction as an officer in the Rifle Brigade from the spring of 1915. His letters give us a telling insight into the thoughts and reactions of a highly educated, sensitive and perceptive individual confronted by the horrors of modern warfare.”
Dreadnought: Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War by Robert Massie.

5 thoughts on “12 World War I Novels and Nonfiction Books I’d Like to Read in 2012

  1. Although not a book (can you believe it?), I did enjoy very much watching An Avonlea Christmas a few times over the Holidays.

    The first time I saw it, I thought it an odd background for a Christmas story because the background is what is going on in WWI. Even though my daughter loved Avonlea when it was on TV, she didn’t care for this DVD at all because of the affects of war.

    However, after watching it again I came to love the story. I never thought of what it would be like to be Canadian and called into WWI when England became a part of it. It brings a complete different perspective!

    My reading about WWI are almost nil. We did spend two YEARS reading about WWII when we were still homeschooling and even then we didn’t make it out of Europe!

  2. I just read War Horse and loved it. I cannot wait to see the movie and compare!

  3. Massie’s bio of Catherine the Great was one of the top five books I read last year. If Dreadnought is as good as that it should be immensely enjoyable.

  4. All of these are now on the recommended reading list for WWI

  5. Oh, Sherry, you must know that I adore lists like this. It makes me want to go back and revisit that period again.

    Of all the books on your post, I’ve only read the Shaara and Mark Helprin’s masterpiece. My friend borrowed Soldier and made a special note of it in a business meeting.

    Here’s a link to my posts on WWI. http://magistramater.xanga.com/tags/ww1/

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