In a powerful collection, eleven internationally acclaimed writers draw on personal objects to bring the First World War to life for readers young and old.
A toy soldier. A butter dish. A compass. Mundane objects, perhaps, but to the remarkable authors in this collection, artifacts such as these have inspired stories that go to the heart of the human experience of World War I. Each author was invited to choose an object that had a connection to the war—a writing kit for David Almond, a helmet for Michael Morpurgo—and use it as the inspiration for an original short story. What results is an extraordinary collection, illustrated throughout by award-winning Jim Kay and featuring photographs of the objects with accounts of their history and the authors’ reasons for selecting them. This unique anthology provides young readers with a personal window into the Great War and the people affected by it, and serves as an invaluable resource for families and teachers alike.
The stories … say something profound about memory and loss and what it means to wage war. … Each story, lovingly crafted, shows a different facet of war in the same way that each artifact reflects something different about the time. … Black-and-white illustrations by Kay and photos and descriptions of each artifact complete the whole. Extraordinary. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Eleven authors mark the centenary of WWI with original short stories that are simultaneously poignant, thought-provoking, and relevant…. Kay’s haunting b&w illustrations bookend each story, exploding into pointy geometric shapes that recall shrapnel. Explanations of the featured objects conclude this evocative, potent anthology. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Each of the 11 original short stories in this superlative collection about WWI has been inspired by an object evoking the conflict…. Haunting black-and-white illustrations by Kate Greenaway Medal–winning illustrator Jim Kay reinforce the stories’ somber mood and cumulative power. This book is both beautifully designed and beautifully written. —Booklist (starred review)
As there are no living World War I veterans to tell their stories, this profound collection may be as close as some readers will get to truly understanding the emotional devastation of one of the world’s bloodiest wars. … An essential purchase for public and school libraries, particularly those needing to update their World War I collections. —School Library Journal
A stunning anthology of stories . . . atmospheric black and white illustrations by the Greenaway winner Jim Kay, and a nice use of typography and layout make this book even more special. —WRD magazine
Readers will likely discover resonant offerings among this collection. —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
The writers of the short stories in this collection use different styles, forms, and genres, including poetry. The stories will prompt readers to question the impact and damage—not only physical—that can result from war, and encourage them to consider whether anyone benefits from it. —Literacy Daily