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Stories of the First World War by Jim Eldridge




This is neither an easy nor comfortable read.  It includes twelve short stories about the Great War. Each one is told from the point of view of a young person.  Most of them are to do with combat and many feature death. A couple of civilian stories are also quite grim. One involves a bombing, anxious parents and the rescue of a friend and a dog. The other is about a much-changed young man who at first cannot face going home; he was one of only seven of the Accrington Pals who survived. He is different now also because he has been a prisoner of war.   
Jim Eldrige writes a few of the stories from a German point of view.  The British and the German experiences are very similar. He even tackles the conscientious objector – the “conchie” and invites the young reader not to see this just in black and white. 

The stories are in chronological order and there are sections between them that give historical contexts.    

This would be an extremely useful book for teachers or parents wanting to study the Great War with   children. The child probably needs some adult guidance.  


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …