Book Giveaway: WWI Books for Kids

My WWI kids' book giveaway package/Photo by Deb Watley

My WWI kids’ book giveaway package/Photo by Deb Watley

In just over a month, on Veterans Day, the United States will honor those who’ve served our country as a member of our military. This day has its origins in Armistice Day on 11-11-1918 at 11 a.m., the day the fighting of The Great War (World War I) ceased.

We don’t talk a lot about World War I in the U.S. I suppose it’s because our military was only involved for less than two years. However, Europe was decimated, and the world is still dealing with the repercussions of that war.

In honor of the centennial of Veterans Day and World War I (1914-1918), I’m giving away a group of recently published kids’ books about the war.

To enter the giveaway, please comment below. I will conduct a random drawing the morning of Tues., Oct. 13. Entries will be limited to non-relatives and to those with U.S. postal addresses.

How did The Great War affect your family? What are some books about the war you’d recommend?


  1. Jane Heitman Healy

    Yes, we pay a lot of attention to WWII, as we are closer to it. We adults “of a certain age” had parents who served in that war. WWI is farther away. Our family story is that my great-uncle Harold served in that war and made it through unscathed, only to die of scarlet fever when he returned home. My mom is named Harriet in his memory.

    • Deb Watley

      How devastating for Harold to survive all that trauma and then succumb to illness at home. I’m glad your family found a way to keep Harold’s memory alive. Do you think the American WWI generation was as untalkative about their war as the WWII generation was?

      • Jane Heitman Healy

        I have no evidence, but I am guessing they were stoic. My dad served in WWII, and it was only after my brother gave him Tom Brokaw’s book, The Greatest Generation, that dad talked to us about his experiences. It was as if that book gave him permission to speak of it.

  2. amysase

    My maternal grandfather (I called him Papa) tried to sign up for WWI with a fake ID, but they discovered he was too young. Thankfully, my Papa’s family had escaped from Hungary a few years earlier. Thinking about it, WWI didn’t affect us as much as later wars because of the ages of my ancestors, who were too young or too old to fight. A sad book that I love about WWII is “Code Name Verity.” I like the look of your books! Would you tell me more about them?

    • Deb Watley

      Your family was fortunate to have left Hungary. I can’t imagine how horrible it was to live in Europe during the war. I think my maternal grandfather and his father may have been in a similar situation for WWI–Grandpa was too young and Great-grandpa may have been too old.

      The three books I’m giving away are WINNIE: THE TRUE STORY OF THE BEAR WHO INSPIRED WINNIE THE POOH, a picture book by Sally M. Walker and illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss; TREATIES, TRENCHES, MUD, AND BLOOD, a graphic novel by Nathan Hale that gives a good overview of WWI; and Kate Saunders’ FIVE CHILDREN ON THE WESTERN FRONT, a historical fiction with a touch of fantasy for older elementary kids that follows a family of British siblings’ experience at home and at the Western Front.

      • amysase

        Deb, I agree! The books sound interesting and important. I shared on Facebook and Twitter. I didn’t know that Winnie the Pooh was a real bear. I enjoy historical fiction. Also, I’m good friends with Mary S. She told me about your website. Nice to “meet” you. I hope to attend the S.D. SCBWI conference next year. It’s about a 6-hour drive from my home. ~ Amy

        • Deb Watley

          Nice to meet you, too, Amy! Thanks for the shares, and thanks to Mary! It would be wonderful to have you join us in S.D. E-mail me at and let me know where you’re located. I’m in Sioux Falls, and most of our conferences are here, but we just had one in Fargo, N.D. We’ve tried a couple in the Black Hills, but those keep getting snowed out. Oops, are you in the Black Hills? 🙂

  3. Mary Louise Sanchez

    As a young child I knew my great uncle and saw pictures of him in uniform but didn’t know until much later that he was in WWI. Most children probably don’t distinguish wars either until later in life, when they’ve had some background knowledge.

    My mother went to elementary school in the 1930s and said she and her classmates practiced their ovals and slanted lines for penmanship to the tune of “How You Gonna’ Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm?”

    As a child I played “hit parade” tunes on the piano from the great war era for my grandparents. Those were the songs of their growing up years. I also enjoyed hearing those old songs on the Lawrence Welk Show. The costumes, together with the the music on the show, helped me put those songs on a mental time line.

    • Deb Watley

      I just listened to a recording of “How You Gonna’ Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm?” I can see why it was so popular after the war!

      The movies “Sergeant York” (with Gary Cooper) and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (with James Cagney) made the WWI era come alive for me. I still love the songs “Over There,” “Yankee Doodle Boy,” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”

  4. loisbooks

    I can only relate to stories of World War II. My husband’s aunt, who was single, took on a project of sending clothing and food to the people in Holland who were living in deplorable conditions after the war. She would send boxes to Holland and kept in contact with those who received the boxes. Later decendents of these people moved to the US and she was privileged to make the acquaintance of the grandchildren of some of the people she had helped.
    A few years ago I discovered the book Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming. It was fascinating to me because of the similar story that I know about Aunt Grace. .

    • Deb Watley

      I love that your Aunt Grace was able to communicate with the recipients and then later meet their grandchildren! Thank you for sharing her story with me. I’ll have to get a hold of BOXES FOR KATJE–it sounds wonderful!

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