World War I Collections

By Chris Jarosh

As schools mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, they will be thinking of ways to incorporate reading about the war into the history curriculum. Libraries will be focusing on the subject as it is in the news over the course of the year. To help with this, we have pulled together some books (both fiction and non-fiction) about the War that are popular with Accelerated Reader users. These collections could form the basis of displays of Accelerated Reader-quizzed titles in your library or classroom, or be used alongside a teaching programme on war.

Upper Years fiction

Book cover for Birdsong

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks is the story of a love affair involving a young Englishman caught up in the horrors of the First World War, as well its effects on the following generations. Contains adult content.

Birdsong | Vintage | 978-0-09-938791-6 | UY | BL 6.1 | Quiz #206692

In Eleven Eleven by Paul Dowswell, three soldiers – one American, one German and one British – find their lives colliding during the final hours of World War One.

Eleven Eleven | Bloomsbury | 978-1-4088-2623-2 | UY | BL 6.0 | Quiz #225102

A Farewell to Arms is a highly-acclaimed modern classic by Ernest Hemmingway, a love story set in the Italian campaigns of WWI.

A Farewell to Arms | Arrow | 978-0-09-991010-7 | UY | BL 6.0 | Quiz #200398

Remembrance is by Theresa Breslin. Families are brought together by love and loss in World War I. John is separated from his love, Charlotte, when he signs up for the local regiment. His untimely death has shocking consequences at home when his younger, underage brother signs up.

Remembrance | Doubleday | 978-0-385-60204-4 | UY | BL 6.6 | Quiz #204760

Middle Years fiction

Book cover for Private Peaceful

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

Private Peaceful is one of Michael Morpurgo’s most popular titles. Private Thomas Peaceful is only eighteen but he has seen the horrors of war and experienced the full weight of its unfairness.

Private Peaceful | Collins | 978-0-00-715006-9 | MY | BL 7.0 | Quiz #206723

War Horse is the book by Michael Morpurgo on which the acclaimed play and film are based. In England, Albert is growing up on a Devon farm with his young horse, Joey. However Albert, Joey and many other people will all be drawn into the nightmare of war as they all struggle to survive in the blasted wilderness of the Western Front.

War Horse | Mammoth | 978-0-7497-0445-2 | MY | BL 5.9 | Quiz #204089

The Silver Donkey, by Sonya Hartnett, is set in France during World War I. Four French children learn about honesty, loyalty and courage from an English army deserter who tells them a series of stories related to his small, silver donkey charm.

The Silver Donkey | Walker | 978-1-84428-947-9 | MY | BL 5.0 | Quiz #211393

Soldier Dog is by Sam Angus. Stanley is a dog handler, working in the trenches during the First World War. As the fighting escalates, and Stanley experiences the true horror of war, he comes to realise that the loyalty of his dog is the only thing he can rely on.

Soldier Dog | Macmillan | 978-1-4472-2005-3 | MY | BL 6.0 | Quiz #223642

The Diary of a Young Soldier in World War I, by Dennis Hamley, is part of the Diary Of series from Franklin Watts. Many soldiers signing up for for national service in World War I, like Billy Warren, didn’t have a clue about the horror to come. Learn about the grim reality from Billy’s diaries.

The Diary of a Young Soldier in World War I | Franklin Watts | 978-0-7496-4418-5 | MY | BL 5.4 | Quiz #206096

Middle Years non-fiction

Book cover for Life on the Western Front

Life on the Western Front by Nick Hunter

World War I: 1914-1918, by Jason Turner, is part of the Wars Day by Day series from Franklin Watts. In a time line format, this book describes the causes leading up to World War I and political events and battles during the war.

World War I: 1914-1918 | Franklin Watts | 978-0-7496-8414-3 | MY | BL 7.4 | Quiz #213845

World War I: True Stories is by Clive Gifford. It is the First World War, and with so many people involved in conflicts across the world, there is much danger and fear, but also bravery. Discover real life experiences in this collection of nine true war stories.

World War I: True Stories | Wayland | 978-0-340-80496-4 | MY | BL 8.3 | Quiz #205171

The Frightful First World War is one of Terry Deary’s Horrible Histories. This book gives details of the dreadful war that affected everyone, from peace-loving protestors to the soldiers suffering in the muddy, bloody trenches. It includes ropey rhymes and sad songs, rotten rules and sinister superstitions.

The Frightful First World War | Scholastic | 978-0-590-11320-5 | MY | BL 6.3 | Quiz #202844

The First World War by Paul Dowswell is in the Usborne True Stories series. This book is a collection of stories from the First World War.

The First World War | Usborne | 978-0-7460-8832-6 | MY | BL 8.6 | Quiz #218788

Remembering World War I is a series from Nick Hunter published by Raintree this year. The titles are Campaigns of World War I (225605), Life on the Western Front (225606), The Home Fronts in World War I (225607) and Women in World War I (225608).

Raintree | MY | BL 6.8-7.1

Lower Years

Book cover for Walter Tull: Footballer, Soldier, Hero

Walter Tull: Footballer, Soldier, Hero by Dan Lyndon

The Donkey of Gallipoli: A True Story of Courage in World War I, is a non-fiction title by Mark Greenwood. Two unlikely heroes rescue hundreds of men wounded in war in a poignant picture book based on a true tale of World War I.

The Donkey of Gallipoli | Walker | 978-0-7636-3913-6 | LY | BL 4.9 | Quiz #213227

Memorial, by Gary Crew, is a story about a memorial tree. A young boy, concerned over the city’s plans to cut down a tree planted after World War I, learns about the tree’s significance from his great-grandfather, grandfather, and father who are all war veterans.

Memorial | Lothian Books | 978-0-7344-0545-6 | LY | BL 3.2 | Quiz #208784

Walter Tull: Footballer, Soldier, Hero is a non-fiction books in the Collins Big Cat series, by Dan Lyndon. This books is a biography of Walter Tull – from his early years as a football player to his later success as a war hero.

Walter Tull: Footballer, Soldier, Hero | Collins | 978-0-00-733637-1 | LY | BL 6.4 | Quiz #221768

Football in the trenches

Book covers for War Games books

On Christmas Eve 1914, soliders from both sides of the war left their trenches near Armentieres and played a game of football. This remarkable event has been the subject of a several books. covering all the reading levels, that could be used to engage sports-lovers with reading while also learning about historical events.

War Game is by Michael Foreman. One Christmas Day during World War One an extraordinary thing happens to four friends. Soldiers from both sides emerge from their trenches and, for a few hours, put aside the war that has made them enemies to play football in No Man’s Land.

War Game | Puffin | 978-0-14-037139-0 | MY | BL 5.5 | Quiz #201743

When the Guns Fall Silent is by James Riordan. Jack’s visit to France brings back all the horrific memories he’s tried to forget since the war. The sight of a face from the past reminds him that in the middle of the carnage and misery, there was one miraculous moment when the guns fell silent.

When the Guns Fall Silent | OUP | 978-0-19-271850-1 | UY | BL 5.8 | Quiz #203876

World War I Tales: The War Game is by Terry Deary. On Christmas Eve 1914, English and German soldiers both put down their guns and play one of the most amazing football games of all times.

World War I Tales: The War Game | A&C Black | 978-1-4081-9174-3 | MY | BL 4.2 | Quiz #225550

War Games is by James Riordan. An historical story set during World War I as British and German soldiers sit in the trenches on either side of No Man’s Land, on Christmas Eve in 1914. Aimed particularly at Year 4, ages 8-9, lower ability readers.

War Games | A&C Black | 978-0-7136-8750-7 | LY | BL 3.8 | Quiz #214574

My Story

Several titles in Scholastic’s historical fiction diary series My Story cover characters and events from World War I.

Book cover for The Trenches

The Trenches: Billy Stevens, The Western Front 1914-1918 by Jim Eldridge.

Flying Ace: Jack Fairfax, Royal Flying Corps 1915-1918 is by Jim Eldridge. Jack Fairfax is the nineteen-year-old son of Lord and Lady Fairfax. His parents do not approve of his volunteering for the Royal Flying Corps, but Jack takes to the skies and faces the skills of the German ace pilots. The plot contains violence.

Flying Ace | Scholastic | 978-0-439-97737-1 | MY | BL 6.1 | Quiz #217750

Road to War is by Valerie Wilding. In 1917, English girl Daffy joins the First Aid Yeomanry to help soldiers in France during the war.

Road to War | Scholastic | 978-1-4071-0461-4 | MY | BL 4.8 | Quiz #216879

The Trenches: Billy Stevens, The Western Front 1914-1918 is also by Jim Eldridge. It tells the story of Billy Stevens, who went to fight in the trenches on the Western Front in the First World War.

The Trenches | Scholastic | 978-0-439-99422-4 | MY | BL 5.8 | Quiz #205462

Posted on 13 March 2014 at 8:42 am
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