Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood: A World War I Tale (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales)by Nathan Hale
World War I set the tone for the 20th century and introduced a new type of warfare: global, mechanical, and brutal. Nathan Hale has gathered some of the most fascinating true-life tales from the war and given them his inimitable Hazardous Tales twist. Easy to understand, funny, informative, and lively, this series is the best way to be introduced to some of… See more details below
World War I set the tone for the 20th century and introduced a new type of warfare: global, mechanical, and brutal. Nathan Hale has gathered some of the most fascinating true-life tales from the war and given them his inimitable Hazardous Tales twist. Easy to understand, funny, informative, and lively, this series is the best way to be introduced to some of the most well-known battles (and little-known secrets) of the infamous war.
Praise for Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales
"Students bored to death by textbook descriptions of WWI battle maneuvers should be engaged by this entertaining, educational glimpse at world history."
"A mixture of textbook and slapstick, this essential read makes history come alive in a way that is relevant to modern-day life and kids."
--School Library Journal
Gr 3–7—In the newest addition to this inventive series, Revolutionary War figure Nathan Hale tells the story of World War I with the support of two sidekicks who help shine light on some of the nuances of the historical event. The narrative explores why the war began, each country's role, battle tactics and technology implemented, and the lasting impact of the conflagration. Each country is represented by an animal, bringing to mind Art Spiegelman's iconic Maus (Pantheon, 1986). The facts are well researched and include statistics, as well as direct quotes from historical figures. The drawings are detailed and engaging, and the sparse use of color matches the tone of the tale. Not for the faint of heart, the book doesn't mince the gruesome, tragic reality of the Great War. The format lends itself as an effective presentation through the lens of Hale's sidekicks: a serious soldier who serves to clarify details, and an irreverent executioner who provides some much-needed comic relief. A mixture of textbook and slapstick, this essential read makes history come alive in a way that is relevant to modern-day life and kids.—Jenna Lanterman, formerly at The Calhoun School and Mary McDowell Friends School, New York City
In the latest of his Hazardous Tales (One Dead Spy, 2012, etc.), Hale recaps World War I with an all-animal cast.Any similarities to Art Spiegelman's Maus are doubtless coincidental. Per established series formula, a frame tale finds the author's more-renowned namesake holding off the hangman, Scheherazade-like, with tales from our country's future history. In this volume, he covers the war's prelude, precipitation, major campaigns and final winding down in small but reasonably easy-to-follow two-color panels. At the hangman's request, narrator Hale both tucks in a few jokes and transforms the opposing armies into animal-headed soldiers—from Gallic roosters and British bulldogs to, as "eagle" was already taken by the Germans, American bunnies. Despite lightening the load in this manner and shying away from explicit brutality, Hale cogently conveys the mind-numbing scale of it all as well as the horrors of trench warfare. He presents with equal ease the strategic and tactical pictures, technological innovations from poison gas to tanks, and related developments such as the Russian Revolution. After the cease fire, which he attributes more to exhaustion than battlefield victory, he closes with a summary of the war's human toll and geopolitical changes.A neatly coherent account with tweaks that allow readers some emotional distance—but not enough to shrug off the war's devastating cost and world-changing effects. (bibliography) (Graphic nonfiction. 11-13)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Wow! Impressive! Nathan Hale has successfully managed to tell the whole story of WWI in a graphic novel. Obviously not everything is covered but this is an impressive primer on the Great War: how it started, why it started, who fought who, the battles, the logistics, the chronology, how the US comes in at the end, the Russian Revolution's impact on the end of the war at the Eastern Front and the final days of how, why and when it ended. Amazing! I read a lot about the two world wars and I learned things I never really fully comprehended before from this. Hale also does something that very few author's of nonfiction books manage to do; he remains unbiased. There are a couple of pages where it looks like the Americans came in and basically cleaned up the mess and won the war for everybody but Hale's multi-pov shows it wasn't that simple. A couple of things make this book different from the others in the series so far. First, it is very in-depth and I'd recommend it for older ages than the previous books simply because of the level of information. It'd even be great for teenagers studying WWI at school to read for fun and get a better understanding of the war as a whole. However, Hale does, of course, make the book accessible to his intended younger audience for this series by using animal characters in the vein of Spiegelman's "Maus". Each nationality is represented by an animal taken from the country's flag, shield or heritage, ie. Russia are bears, Germany are eagles and the British are bulldogs. Using this technique is controversial, in that some readers do not appreciate its use in nonfiction and Hale brilliantly addresses this by having two of the main characters, Nathan Hale and the Executioner, being of each opinion; debating and commenting on its use throughout the book. Finally, the riotous humour from the previous books is gone. It's still funny, but the scope of the book is so large it doesn't contain the outrageousness we've come to expect but rather a more toned down levity. I'm thoroughly impressed with the book though. Book 5 comes out at the end of this month (April 2015) and will go back in time to the 1800s and tell us the story of Harriet Tubman. I'm really looking forward to it as I live very close to her church here in Canada and can't wait to see how Hale handles her narcolepsy.