In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae

Overview

The lines of the celebrated poem are interwoven with fascinating information about the First World War, details of daily life in the trenches, accounts of McCrae's experience in his field hospital, and the circumstances that led to the writing of "In Flanders Fields."

Presents the context for the writing of the famous poem by the Canadian medical officer who attended injured soldiers in Flanders during the First World War.

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Overview

The lines of the celebrated poem are interwoven with fascinating information about the First World War, details of daily life in the trenches, accounts of McCrae's experience in his field hospital, and the circumstances that led to the writing of "In Flanders Fields."

Presents the context for the writing of the famous poem by the Canadian medical officer who attended injured soldiers in Flanders during the First World War.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
This beautiful volume evokes both emotional turmoil and the horrors of war. John McCrae's famous poem is beautifully told line by line and illustrated by expressive, rich paintings. Between stanzas explanatory pages recount the daily war routine and the circumstances around the writing of "In Flanders Fields." Here are history and literature enrichment at their best! A great gift option. 1996, Stoddart Kids, $16.96. Ages 10 to 12. Reviewer: A. Braga SOURCE: Parent Council, September 2001 (Vol. 9, No. 1)
Children's Literature
A much-honored Canadian import that was worth waiting for, this is the story of the nasty trench warfare during May of 1915 in the impasse of the Second Battle of Ypres. Taking as her starting point Canadian doctor John McCrae's poignant little poem written from the point of view of the dead, writer Granfield's narrative goes beyond the battle itself—and even World War I—to describe the propaganda value of the poem and its ultimate symbol—the Armistice Day poppy. Wilson's moving paintings, along with carefully chosen and reproduced archival images, complete the retelling. Although McCrae's poem is a cry for renewed allied warmaking efforts, ultimately his story—and the book's—becomes a very strong pacifist message. Teachers may use the book thoughtfully among many different age levels. 1998 (orig. 1995), Stoddart Kids, and $12.50. Ages 8 up. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-Within a framework of the basic historical facts of World War I, John McCrae's famous poem is juxtaposed with paintings and a biography of the poet. Vivid descriptions of the life of a soldier and an explanation of the powerful influence the poem had on society at the time are also included. Black-and-white sketches, photographs of the subject, and memorabilia (e.g., war posters and medals) add to the visual appeal created by Wilson's artwork. The format is somewhat confusing, combining the expository text with full- and double-page paintings captioned with lines of the poem. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful book that can be used in a number of ways because of the variety of information it contains.-Sabrina L. Fraunfelter, Kings Glen Elementary School, Springfield, VA
Kirkus Reviews
The 16 lines John McCrae wrote following a friend's death in the Second Battle of Ypres in 1915 survived and flourished in the insanity of WW I, and in this work, continue to evince the same sturdy beauty as do the scarlet poppies blowing in Flanders fields.

The poem, "In Flanders Fields," has acquired so much emotional weight it could collapse any book focusing on it. Granfield (Cowboy, 1994, etc.) doesn't let that happen. Her strong, sensitive treatment, with Wilson's matching illustrations, catch the torch thrown "from failing hands" and wield it to illuminate the story of not only the poet-doctor, but also the war itself. Granfield deftly interweaves the lines of the poem with informative short essays on life in the trenches, accounts of McCrae's experiences in his field hospital, the burgeoning popularity of poppies as symbols of remembrance, and more. Wilson's paintings beautifully evoke place, time, and incident. The incorporation of black-and-white archival materials, such as postcards, posters, and photographs, adds yet another layer of interest, while maps on the endpapers provide further information. The book revivifies the poem, placing it so well on its feet in its world that it's difficult to think of the classroom in which the book would not be of use. That it is also a beautiful book only expands its appeal.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385322287
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/1996
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 10.86 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Granfield is an award-winning author of over twenty non-fiction titles for young readers. Born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts, she currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Janet Wilson decided at age 29, after her boys were off to school, that she wanted to become a professional artist. After a few years of hard work she graduated and was rewarded with an offer from Scholastic to illustrate a book. And the rest, as they say, is history. With a host of books to her credit, Janet is recognized for her realistic paintings which capture the feelings and mood of the characters and situations in the stories she is illustrating.

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