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Christmas Truce

Christmas Truce

5.0 6
by Aaron Shepard, Wendy Edelson (Illustrator)

Christmas Day, 1914

My dear sister Janet,

It is 2:00 in the morning and most of our men are asleep in their dugouts -- yet I could not sleep myself before writing to you of the wonderful events of Christmas Eve. In truth, what happened seems almost like a fairy tale, and if I hadn't been through it myself, I would scarce believe it.


Christmas Day, 1914

My dear sister Janet,

It is 2:00 in the morning and most of our men are asleep in their dugouts -- yet I could not sleep myself before writing to you of the wonderful events of Christmas Eve. In truth, what happened seems almost like a fairy tale, and if I hadn't been through it myself, I would scarce believe it. Just imagine: While you and the family sang carols before the fire there in London, I did the same with enemy soldiers here on the battlefields of France!

The Christmas Truce of 1914 is one of the most extraordinary incidents not only of World War I but of all military history. Providing inspiration for songs, books, plays, and movies, it has endured as an archetypal image of peace. Yet much about the historic event remains shrouded in myth and legend.

In this fictional letter -- illustrated in authentic detail by Wendy Edelson -- award-winning author Aaron Shepard draws from firsthand accounts of soldiers at the front to portray the truce in its true nature and spirit.



Aaron Shepard's many books for young people have won honors from the American Library Association, the New York Public Library, the Bank Street College of Education, the American Folklore Society, and the National Council for the Social Studies. Visit him at www.aaronshep.com.

Wendy Edelson has been honored with the Pacific Northwest Book Award, the Moonbeam Children's Book Award, and the Mom's Choice Award. Her other illustrated books include Aaron's "The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale." Visit her at www.wendyedelson.com.

Product Details

Shepard Publications
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.25(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Christmas Truce 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
BlessedX5 9 months ago
This book was amazing! The story was moving and the illustrations were bold and touching. I have long been interested in the events of the Christmas truce and this book moved my heart so much. The author says it well, "And so, dear sister, tell me, has there ever been such a Christmas Eve in all history? " Barring the very first Christmas Eve, I would have to agree. *I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Michelle_Lynn_Brown More than 1 year ago
The Christmas Truce, by Aaron Shepard, is a fictional letter based on events that happened during World War I between the German and the English soldiers. In the story, the soldier recounts the events that occurred on Christmas Eve in 1914, in a letter to his sister. What began with a few Christmas carols sang across enemy lines, turned into a brief cease fire. The story rings with authenticity and will draw children into the story. As a military family, my children were captivated by the soldier’s tale of peace and finding commonality in their enemy. I enjoyed the author’s writing style. Though simple in its delivery, it contained an elegance that lent authenticity to its tone. The descriptions were vivid, and you could feel the emotions of the soldier. Also included is a note from the author that explains some of the myths and facts surrounding this true event. I give this book full stars for its wonderful story, beautiful writing and message. I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
The Christmas Truce, the brief stopping of fighting over Christmas in 1914, was a wonderful and spontaneous moment in time involving soldiers and officers from both sides, British and German. They came out of their trenches, sang, talked, exchanged gifts and food. This book is written as a fictional soldier's letter home to his sister sharing the magic of that Christmas Night. It is based on recollections of soldiers researched by Aaron Shepard. As Tom ends his letter to his sister, he writes: "All nations say they want peace. Yet on this Christmas morning, I wonder if we want it quite enough."Christmas Truce is beautifully and realistically illustrated in watercolor by Wendy Edelson, who has really captured the idea of the Christmas truce. The cold browns of the trenches gives way to color, first in the line of brightly lit Christmas trees across No Man's Land, with warmer and brighter colors added as the men get closer and closer to each other. This may be a picture book but students studying WWI would definitely benefit from reading and/or hearing this story. There have been many versions of this story written, but this one is a wonderful edition to any library. Thank you to Netgalley and Skyhook Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.
ksnapier475 More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful retelling of a true event that occurred during World War II. On Christmas Eve, the two sides came to a cease fire  as German and English voices were heard to sing Christmas songs. What a wonderful way to show children that, even though there  are differences between people, there are also similarities that can tie us together even in a war zone. I was so excited to see someone wrote a book about this event and I look forward to sharing it with my grandchildren for years to come.  Thank you. I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
megHan-sHena More than 1 year ago
Christmas Truce: A Story of World War I War is such a sad thing - the anger and hatred, the misery, the loss - but even during all of this, stories of love, of family and friends, of peace, can be found.  This is a beautiful story of some of that peace, told through a letter from Janet's brother, who was a part of this unofficial truce.  I must admitted that I had goosebumps and cried as this story was told, wishing that this kind of thing could still happen today.  The author also provides an historical account in the back.  The pictures by Wendy Edelson are beautiful and really add to the story.
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
A delightful telling of the story of the Christmas Truce in the First World War from the point of view of an English soldier writing to tell his sister about what happened. The story is beautifully told and illustrated, a really beautiful rendition of those fantastic events when, in the midst of war, the spirit of Christmas overruled the fighting and peace reigned on the battlefields, if only for too short a while and men shared life regardless of nationality, creed or beliefs. Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley too  for letting me read this book in exchange for this, an honest review.