Archie’s War: My Scrapbook of the First World War 1914-1918

Ten-year-old Archie is mad about comics, so when he receives a scrapbook for his tenth birthday he expects to fill it with his favourite reading material. But it’s 1914 and Britain is about to go to war. Archie’s life is quickly turned upside down as he watches first his uncle and then his dad go off to fight for their country. He uses his new scrapbook to help him make sense of how the world is changing, filling it with news from the Front and colourful detail from London’s East End. Archie eagerly waits for his dad’s letters, and he gives us a moving impression of how attitudes to the war changed over time as some men returned from the trenches and some didn’t.

This book has a wonderful authentic feel to it as our hero records his experience of WWI through a fascinating jumble of newspaper clippings, photos, letters from the Front and his very own comic strip. Archie’s perspective allows us a great insight into the domestic life of the period, but the author cleverly integrates an accessible and surprisingly comprehensive account of WWI too.

Beautifully illustrated from start to finish and packed with fold-out letters, postcards and flaps that reveal extra information, this book will appeal to any young history lover. The reading level is around the 7–9 mark, but there’s plenty of facts in here that will fascinate older readers too.