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Great War Fiction - Children's Books


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Hello - A friend of mine - Sam Angus - is a published author of children's books whose work weaves fiction and factual history. Her books are all set in the Great War and always involve animals and young people. Her most recent book is set in Gallipoli. She does some very detailed research to try and make the books as true to history as possible.

Her most recent book was Captain (here) and her previous book Soldier Dog (here) was extremely well received with 71 reviews scoring 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon's review pages. Some GWF members may have children or grandchildren and it is an interesting way of opening young minds to Great War history. Here is one review:

A number of children's books have been written about animals employed in The Great War and `Soldier Dog' is equal to any - including `War Horse'. It is fiction that skilfully unites drama and danger, but it is based on fact with dogs really used by both sides to carry messages as author Sam Angus confirms via a note on The Messenger Dog Service stating how some 100,000 dogs served the warring nations and of these 7,000 were killed. `Soldier Dog' tells a gut wrenching story of an under-age boy enlisting into the army as a Keeper to train and handle dogs with appalling consequences as well as hope for the future. There is a family rift, there is friendship, there is fear, there is heartbreak, and there is heroism - but essentially `Soldier Dog' is an emotive story of love, loyalty, courage and bravery. However it is intertwined with an evocatively harrowing portrayal of brutal trench warfare that for young (and older) readers will raise awareness, will be thought provoking, and will be inspirational.

I did give Sam a tiny amount of advice on Gallipoli but I would stress that I don't have any economic interest in the book. Just thought her work has been well received and it was worth flagging given the wider positive reaction. MG.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was pleased to meet Sam on her recent visit to our school and give her a guided tour of the nearby Fusilier Museum.

She wanted to weave one of the 'Side shows' into her latest book so I walked Sam through the complexities of the Army and all the potential pitfalls. To her credit she did the hard yards in the National Archives and waded through original diaries and published histories. Doubtless there is always some artistic interpretation but they have received very good reviews. I know she also corresponded with one of our Aussie GWF colleagues on the Camel Corps when researching. MG

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I read Soldier Dog... it's a very good book, I must say.

But there are more "youth" books about WWI;

In Belgium, we have author Geert Spillebeen. His book "Age 14" about John Condon has also been translated into English.


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  • 2 years later...

I have just ordered Captain.

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