Tag Archives: Modern History

The National Archives: World War II The Story Behind the War that Divided the World – Nick Hunter




ISBN: 9781526605580
Imprint: Bloomsbury Children’s Books

RRP: $17.99

Given the continued interest shown by young people in the history of the World Wars, not to mention those students who are studying this period of modern history, this book is a valuable addition to any shelves.

Nick Hunter holds a degree in modern history and has produced over 50 books for young people on a wide variety of topics. Crammed full of photographs, original documents, artefacts and more this is a cornucopia of information for any reader interested in the war that split the world and has had so much bearing on the global situation of contemporary times.

Covering both the war in Europe and that in the Pacific all aspects are included from the rise of Hitler and the Nazis to espionage, coding to the Blitzkrieg, from the lives of women and children in wartime to propaganda as well as occupation and resistance and tales of heroism as well as much more. Despite its slender size the amount of information contained within is amazing and so written that any reader from around ten years upwards will be able to grasp the significant facts.

The book also includes a timeline, glossary, links to further reading as well as an insight into physical reminders such as preserved buildings and monuments.

Personally I found it quite a fascinating read and enjoyed seeing items and photographs previously unknown/unseen.

Highly recommended for your lovers of nonfiction as well as your history buffs.

Peter in Peril: Courage and Hope in World War Two – Helen Bate



Walker Books Australia

ISBN: 9781910959572
September 1, 2016
Australian RRP: $27.99

There is always a need for memoirs or biographical texts in a simpler format for younger students. There is also always a great demand, in my experience, for true stories of bravery especially during times of conflict. The enduring popularity of true stories around the Holocaust is evident. Not because the young readers enjoy the horrible or gruesome history but because they are continually inspired by the resilience of the human spirit. When these stories are told from a child’s POV they become even more powerful.

This graphic novel is based on the recollections of Peter, who was six at the time when Budapest fell to the Nazi regime. For Jewish families such as Peter’s this marked the beginning of a long, difficult and dangerous period of history.

The dangers and the stark reality of living in fear and hiding are minimised but there is no doubt that children will still grasp the enormity of the situation in which Peter and his family found themselves.  Throughout these dark times there were still moments for Peter to still just be a child and these make for real contrast to the grimness of his environment.

Thankfully Peter and his family survived and continued to make Hungary their home after the war, when there was still as much struggle, poverty and lack of food.

The last few pages of the book relate some background to Peter’s story along with a summary of the family’s situation. A photo of adult Peter, now living in Austria, with his children and grandchildren provides a fitting ending to this story of one little boy’s war.

Highly recommended for readers of around 10 upwards.