Monday, 21 April 2014

Archie’s War: My Scrapbook of the First World War

Archie’s War: My Scrapbook of the First World War by Marcia Williams (Walker Books)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN 9781406352689
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Archie Albright receives a scrapbook from his uncle for his tenth birthday in April, 1914.The entries end when he is 15 years old, in 1919. Full of fold-out cards and letters, clippings from newspapers, and posters of the era, we get a view of the First World War through Archie’s life, and his family members’ experiences.

Archie’s love of comics inspires the comic characters and drawings that make up this amazing scrapbook. It’s funny, clever, and imaginative. The humorous captions and banners present the harsh reality of war in a light-hearted (if possible) way. It allows children to learn the history of the war; the conditions the men fought in, and at the same time experience visually and verbally, how difficult life was for the people left behind at home in London.

This book won the UKLA (United Kingdom Literacy Association) Book Award. It is a reissue of the 2007 publication, and is suitable for all ages. The illustrations are highly detailed. The entire presentation is exceptional. Marcia Williams excels at creating books that appear like personalized journals and scrapbooks. She is the author of the outstanding Lizzie Bennet’s Diary.

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