April 24, 2014

Review: World War 1 for Kids: A History with 21 Activities

One hundred years after the start of the “Great War,” World War I for Kids provides an intriguing and comprehensive look at this defining conflict that involved all of the world’s superpowers. Why and how did the war come about? What was daily life like for soldiers in the trenches? What roles did zeppelins, barbed wire, and the passenger ship Lusitania play in the war? Who were Kaiser Wilhelm, the Red Baron, and Edith Cavell? Young history buffs will learn the answers these questions and many others, including why the western front bogged down into a long stalemate; how the war ushered in an era of rapid military, technological, and societal advances; and how the United States’ entry helped end the war. Far from a dry catalog of names, dates, and battles, this richly illustrated book goes in depth into such fascinating topics as turn-of-the-20th-century weaponry and the important roles animals played in the war, and explains connections among events and how the war changed the course of history. Hands-on activities illuminate both the war and the times.Kids can:

·         Make a periscope
·         Teach a dog to carry messages
·         Make a parachute
·         Learn a popular World War I song
·         Cook Maconochie Stew
·         And much more

Thoughts From a Teacher and Student:

I'm not a history teacher (I teach English), so I had one of our history teachers take a look at the book. Here's what she had to say:

haven't read the entire book but the parts I did read are historically accurate and include engaging details. The projects are creative and seem like fun, I could see offering some of them as extra credit. The sad part is that we don't have that much time to go into detail on WW I.

So she did like it but she did have a concern using it in class:

The book is not bad but I can't figure out who is the audience for it. The title says that it is for kids but I would put the reading level at middle or even high school. The projects are neat and cute but many are not practical for a class of 30. (One of them involves training a dog to carry a message.) I feel like it is made for homeschooled kids, small classes with lots of time to spend on WW I. 

So in short she liked it but see's some limitations using it in class.  BUT definitely sees how kids themselves would be interested in it!

Now coming from my daughter who is a HUGE history fan - she grabbed the book right away and was completely absorbed in in for awhile! :) so I think it's perfect for individual kids even if you don't use it in your classroom - maybe even it have it out for kids to pick up and look at/read when they have time in class. 

Praise for World War I for Kids for Kids:

WWI for Kids Cover_low-res.jpg“A solid exploration of a horrific war.” –Kirkus Reviews

World War I for Kids makes a useful addition to many collections, and a particularly interesting feature in the back matter is a list of WWI films, from Charlie Chaplin’s silent Shoulder Arms to the recent War Horse.” –Booklist

World War I for Kids: A History with 21 Activities
By R. Kent Rasmussen
Chicago Review Press from IPG
ISBN: 9781613745564
176 pages; 11 x 8 ½
Ages 9 and Up
Price: $17.95 (CAN $21.95)
50 B/W Photos

About the Author:
R. Kent Rasmussen is a former reference book editor and the author or editor of a number of books on Mark Twain, including Mark Twain for Kids, Mark Twain A to Z, and Dear Mark Twain. He has contributed articles, essays, and reviews to the Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and many others. He lives in Thousand Oaks, California.

Disclaimer: Book provided by publisher for an honest review

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