Children's LiteratureThe battles of the First World War were among the largest and most costly in human history. At places like Verdun, Passchendaele, the Somme, and Ypres literally millions of soldiers perished. The life of a soldier in World War I was so horrendous that even to this day the term "Western Front" conjures up images of mud, filth, degradation, and suffering. Thus, it is all together fitting that the veterans who returned alive from the war were described as a Lost Generation. How could any group of survivors remain the same after such a cataclysmic experience? In Battles of World War I John Hamilton traces some of the key battles that shaped the final outcome of the "Great War." In presenting this military history Hamilton does a fine job of compressing events that were massive in scale into a relative few pages. The text in this swift-paced history is lucid and augmented by the numerous illustrations. As part of a broader series aptly entitled "World War I" this book is a sound beginning point for a youngster with an interest in military history. Ultimately, the Allies were able to defeat Germany and the other Central Powers. However, as John Hamilton notes in this solid work, the First World War, like many conflicts throughout history, held within it the seeds of further suffering. Perhaps by perusing Mr. Hamilton's little book readers will grasp this reality as well as enjoy a sound historical work. 2004, ABDO & Daughters, Ages 9 to 14.
Greg M. Romaneck