World War I, also known as the Great War, began in 1914 and lasted through most of 1918. But, it’s one of the U.S.’s forgotten wars–perhaps because we were involved for a much shorter time than other nations (we didn’t join the fighting until 1917), we didn’t suffer as horribly as much of the world (no battles on our homeland), and the causes were complicated and ending messy.
There aren’t many children’s books in the U.S. about this war. In fact, there are no Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction Books covering the WWI era.
However, there are some very good books about the war, and I expect more will be released as the world honors the 100 year anniversary. I’m compiling a running list of children’s books about the WWI-era that I have read and can recommend, or that you have recommended to me. This list will be limited to books available in the U.S., but not limited to just our nation’s experience. The books I’ve just added to the list are in bold type.
Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon & illustrated by Henri Sorensen
Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the Pooh by Sally M. Walker, and illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss (2015, Henry Holt and Co.)–non-fiction
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
The Usborne Introduction to the First World War by Ruth Brocklehurst & Henry Brook–non-fiction
Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood (Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales) written and illustrated by Nathan Hale (2014, Amulet Books)–graphic novel, gives a good overview of the causes, countries involved, battles, and results of WWI.
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Crossing Stones by Helen Frost
What children’s books set during the WWI era would you recommend for my list? Why?