Playing by the book

Reviews of kids' books and the crazy, fun stuff they inspire us to do

Children’s books about War and Conflict

Posted on | March 24, 2011 | 11 Comments

A couple of weeks ago I reviewed the current exhibition at the Imperial War Museum London, Once Upon A Wartime: Classic War Stories for Children (part 1, part 2). The final section of the exhibition is dedicated to a library of books for children about war and conflict and I am now able to share with you the list of books chosen to be included in this library.

Photo: Imperial War Museum

The staff at the Imperial War Museum compiled their list of books with the help of Dr Geoff Fox, co-author (with Kate Agnew) of Children at War, an authoritative guide to the literature for young readers concerning war in the twentieth century.

Books on the list include:

The full list can be found here (as a pdf document), on the Imperial War Museum website

Through posting my review of Once Upon a Wartime I was introduced to the work of Rosanne Parry, Suzanne Morgan Williams and Sarah Lewis Holmes, who have given panel talks on Military Families in Fiction. They have also compiled an in-depth list of resources under the heading “Connecting with Students from Military Families“. Whilst focussed on US military families, this master list includes a number of literature based resources that might be useful and interesting for anyone studying or teaching (children’s) books about war and conflict.

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Comments

11 Responses to “Children’s books about War and Conflict”

  1. sandhya
    March 24th, 2011 @ 2:51 am

    We’ve enjoyed all the Morpurgo books listed here. ‘The best Christmas present in the world’ was especially savoured. Brought home sharply to A the fact that after all, we are all human beings wanting the same things, even if we may be on opposite sides of a war. I hope the message has registered a bit, as she is at a stage where ‘her’ POV is the most important, and that gets her at loggerheads with her peers.
    Judith Kerr- I’ve read ‘When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit,’ and was moved by it. Would love to read her other books.

  2. sandhya
    March 24th, 2011 @ 2:54 am

    A wonderful round-up. Will certainly look out for the others.

  3. Susan Stephenson, the Book Chook
    March 24th, 2011 @ 10:47 am

    I loved, still love Richmal Crompton’s William books. I am not sure how historically accurate they are, but that doesn’t matter to me at all. I love them in the same way I love Wodehouse – they make me laugh, and evoke an era I never knew.

  4. Alex Baugh
    March 24th, 2011 @ 11:43 am

    Thanks for this great post, Zoe. I know I really appricate it. It is always nioe to have a little behind the scenes look at things. Thanks for the PDF list of books too. I went to see the NYC production of the play War Horse on Tuesday and will be writing about it soon. It was incredible. Have you seen it? I love Michael Morpurgo’s work. I guess, so far, I love all the above authors.
    Thanks for keeping me so well informed about what is happening on your side of the Atlantic.

  5. Zoe
    March 24th, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

    No, I haven’t seen it – don’t know if it’s been to the city I live in (and even if it had since the kids have come along going to the theatre on my own hasn’t happened once :-( ) But would love to see War Horse.

  6. Zoe
    March 24th, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    Have you seen the BBC adaptation? http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2010/11_november/30/william.shtml Don’t know if it’s on DVD yet. Didn’t get great reviews, but I really like the actor who plays William.

  7. Carly@LearningParade
    March 24th, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

    So glad to see Michael Morpurgo’s books listed here, these are a must read! When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit – my goodness, what a blast from the past, I adored that book as a child and I’d forgotten all about it! Thanks for sharing the list Zoe :)

  8. Ali B
    March 24th, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

    Tusk Tusk by David McKee is a great book to discuss war and conflict with really small children. Eye of the Wolf by Daniel Pennac is also amazing- more for 8+, I’d say- but it is about displacement and internal conflict in an unnamed African country, and is absolutely beautiful.

  9. Choxbox
    March 24th, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

    There is also Hitler’s Canary – a fabulous book. And Morpurgo is up there of course!

  10. Choxbox
    March 24th, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

    And you make me so jealous!

  11. Zoe
    March 25th, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

    Thanks Choxbox and Ali for your recommendations! More to add to the to-read pile!

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