Remembrance Day 2018: The Reading Agency’s book recommendations

To mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, we’ve selected some books for all ages to give an insight into the war, both at home and on the front line, showing the devastating consequences on everyone involved. Click on the book titles to access specific Reading Groups pages.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

All Quiet on the Western Front is the testament of Paul, who enlists with his classmates in the German army during the First World War. The book shows the harsh conditions in which the soldiers find themselves, the constant threat of bombardments, the struggle to find food and the time spent between battles. Above all, the soldiers become emotionally drained, lose their youth and feel like they do not belong anymore when they return home.

Great Britain’s Great War by Jeremy Paxman

Jeremy Paxman presents a history of the First World War from the point of view of the British people. Whilst it became illegal to fly a kite or buy a round of drinks, the war also led to vegetable allotments and British Summer Time. Paxman brings to life the day-to-day experience of the British, from politicians to nurses, factory workers to children.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

The classic children’s novel that inspired the play and film. Told from the point of view of Joey, a horse sold to the army, we follow his journey to the front line of the war, meeting soldiers from both sides of the trenches. It is a story of universal suffering, conveying the appalling destruction and waste without blaming either side.

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

A memoir portraying Brittain’s own experiences as a nurse in London, Malta and France during the First World War. Her plans to study at Oxford were interrupted by the war as she decided to enlist, and within a few short years she had lost the people she loved.

Remembrance by Theresa Breslin

A group of teenagers meet for a picnic in Scotland, 1915, but the war will soon tear them apart. They are all engulfed by the horrors of the war. From the trenches to nursing the wounded, they struggle to understand nothing will ever be the same for them again.

Poems from the First World War selected by Gaby Morgan

A moving collection of poems written by soldiers, nurses, mothers, sweethearts and family and friends who experienced the war from different places. Includes poems from Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon and many more.

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