Posts Tagged ‘ANZACs’

ANZAC Heroes

By Maria Gill

Illustrated by Marco Ivancic

ISBN 9781775433637

Scholastic NZ



30 courageous ANZACS from WWI and WWII

This is one of those very special books that will capture a wide audience. Teachers, librarians, students, parents and grandparents will love this book. It is a beautifully produced, hardback non-fiction book of biographies of some of our ANZAC heroes.

This superb book features the lives of 30 Australian and New Zealand  ANZAC Heroes from both World War One and World War Two. This is a very well researched project and is quite simply, stunning. I believe this is a winner and should be in every school library. This is one of those books you want to pick up again and again. It is about saving lives, imprisonment, courage and bravery. It is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things to serve our country. Their stories are real and heroic.

I loved reading about Olive King. I confess I had never heard of her before but after reading her biography, I now admire her so much. Having been told war was no place for women, Olive proved otherwise and volunteered to drive ambulances. Olive also took up courses in first-aid and motor repairs. Later she transported wounded soldiers. She went on to do so many extraordinary things.

Try reading about Captain Charles Upham, one of only three soldiers to ever win two Victoria Crosses. An amazing achievement.

As a non-fiction book this is a perfect example for others to follow. It has it all. Contents page, introduction, glossary, maps, timelines, bibliography, list of websites, photographs, illustrations, and of course detailed biographies. The language and text is suited to readers of all ages. I loved the double page spread of the timelines of each war. Brief but very informative and so easy to follow.

There are some great teaching notes to support this book and I do encourage teachers to use them to make the most of this wonderful resource.

One minute’s silence

By David Metzenthen

Illustrated by Michael Camilleri

ISBN 9781743316245

Allen & Unwin


As part of our school library’s current commemorations on World War 1 I purchased a copy of One minute’s silence.  I had known about this book and had been waiting for its publication for awhile so snapped it up immediately it hit our shops.

It is an impressive sophisticated picture book with beautiful illustrations, evocative language and insight into the terrible time known as the Gallipoli campaign.

The cover hits you straight way with two faces (one an Australian solder, the other a Turkish soldier) within a circle of never-ending soldiers and crosses. With its sombre sepia tones the message becomes clear that war is a global issue and its impact effects everyone, everywhere.

The book begins with a group of students who really would rather be anywhere else other than inside a classroom having a history lesson. Slowly the teacher draws the students in and one by one they become witnesses to the atrocities of Gallipoli.

I shared this book with my book club children; a group of 10 and 11 year olds who were mesmerized. The discussions generated were amazing. The power of this book is the ability to show readers the two sides of the campaign. The ANZAC soldiers on attack and the Turkish soldiers on defense. Both sides were doing what they thought was right.

The impact of these attacks was devastating and the imagery in this book highlights the losses from both sides.

There are teacher notes available here for further in-depth discussion and activities to make the most of this excellent book. There really is so much to unpack in this book, from the use of sepia tones, frames showing the passing of time and even to the double spread image of flies and what that could possibly mean. This is quite honestly, an amazing book that moves the reader emotionally as we connect with our past and encourages us to reflect on the futility of war. The last page brought many of us to tears. It is a book to share and a book to treasure no matter the subject. Just brilliant!