Review Blog

Apr 27 2014

Jack's bugle by Krista Bell

cover image

Ill. by Belinda Elliott. Windy Hollow Books, 2014. ISBN 9781922081292.
(Age: 9+) World War One, Mateship, Death, Remembrance. Following the story of Jack and his bugle will take readers from the heights of enlisting when war was first declared, to the admission into the army with its medical inspections and shots, to the long voyage to Egypt where men waited in the training camps before their embarkation to the front at Gallipoli. Readers will get a sound idea of the euphoria with which men enlisted and the dreariness that overtook them waiting for war, and the shock of the battle itself when gunfire rained down upon them at the beaches where they landed. All told through Jack and the bugle which he carried, a piece of home, something that he treasured.
When his mate, Harry, finds the abandoned bugle on the beach he knows it means that Jack has been killed, and he carries the bugle back home with him, a treasured memory of a lost mate and the conflagration he has endured. But in turn when he dies, the bugle is abandoned and finding its way into an op shop, is bought by a young lad with a link to Jack.
Reading this book will give students a sense of the loss that occurred at Gallipoli, the reasons people enlisted and the shock of the war. Along with the many other picture books produced for this the one hundredth anniversary of the First World War and the Gallipoli landing in 2015, students will gain more understanding of the war in which Australia was involved. Teacher's notes are available from the publisher's website.
Fran Knight

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