Remembering 100 years since the end of the Great War

By Krista Culbertson, Editor

Armistice Day, 11th November, marks the end of World War I in 1918. One hundred years after the war, we take the time to remember and reflect on the sacrifices made on the battlefields and at home.

A member of the Content team, Lee, recently visited Ypres in Belgium, which was the site of five major battles.

“It was a very moving experience for me and my family,” he said, “given that my great-great uncle was a Private who fought in the Great War and never returned.”

“What was particularly profound was seeing his name on the Menin Gate,” he added.

Visiting war memorials abroad may not be possible for all children. One of the best ways for children to learn about the Great War is through books: gateways to another time. Whether it’s a fiction or non-fiction story, books bring the realities of war to life.

Over one hundred books about the war have been quizzed on Accelerated Reader. We in the Content team have selected a few of our highlights to share. Other books on World War I can be found under the topic “Wars” on Bookfinder.

Non-fiction: True stories of heroism

Non-fiction can be just as compelling as fiction. And it’s certainly an excellent way to introduce young readers to new topics related to the war.

Many children will be familiar with Michael Morpurgo’s classic novel War Horse. In The Last War Horses, they can learn the true stories about real war horses during the war. This book outlines the facts about how horses helped soldiers, and the different ways they were used.

Line of Fire: Diary of an Unknown Solider is a real soldier’s journal adapted into graphic novel form. Illustrator Barroux rescued the diary himself after discovering it in a rubbish pile in the streets of Paris.

While it is a French soldier’s diary, British students can gain insight into a soldier’s life with this first-hand account.

Walter Tull: Footballer, Soldier, Hero
is a great book for lower years’ readers. Tull was both a professional footballer and an officer in the British Army. His struggles continue to inspire new works, including this introductory biography.


Fiction: Tales of bravery and strength

Sometimes the most accessible way to learn about history is through fiction. The books can make facts come to life on the page.

War Girls is a collection of short stories from nine different authors. Each story is fiction but uses inspiration from true stories to make compelling characters.

The quiz writer for War Girls picked out “Mother and Mrs Everington” by Melvin Burgess as their personal favourite. The story follows a young girl, Effie, who goes to the front line as a nurse. While inspired by suffragettes, she soon realises the war is much more difficult than she imagined.

In Tom Palmer’s Armistice Runner, Lily is given her great-great-grandfather’s running journals. But she soon discovers that they also contain his accounts of fighting the war.

Lily begins to gain inspiration from reading the journal, learning a lesson about both courage and forgiveness.

“I loved the interwoven family history,” said the quiz writer. “This is a very powerful story about family, forgiveness and love.”

Over the Top: The Story of a Soldier is perfect for struggling readers. Jack is a soldier in the trenches, facing horrible circumstances. In the build-up to entering No Man’s Land, Jack reflects on his life before the war. It’s great historical fiction that also contains photographs and historical notes about the story.


You can find the books featured in this blog, and all AR quizzed books, on ARBookfind. And don’t forget, we always like to receive your suggestions for quizzing!

Krista Culbertson

Posted on 7 November 2018 at 11:17 am
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