Review Blog

Jul 01 2015

Hard Nuts of History: Wars and Battles by Tracey Turner

cover image

A & C Black, 2015. ISBN 9781472910943
(Age: Middle -Upper primary) Recommended. What did Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale have in common?
The Boston Tea Party! What was it and what could a tea party possibly have to do with a war?
Which French military commander was banished to an island . . . twice, and why?
Pompey, Xerxes the Great, Trotsky and Siegfried Sassoon? Interesting names, but were they rampaging generals, the enemy or risk-taking spies? One was a poet as well! Hard nuts, all of them! And what about American Indians?
History! One imagines cumbersome, dusty volumes, smelling musty and old, with thick yellowed pages, but Tracy Turner has written a glossy, almost pocket-sized, fascinating little book that explains history in a light, breezy and highly engaging style, with witty images. Many of the momentous moments in history that defined nations and shaped populaces are condensed into this book. Courage, cunning, survival skills and the ruthlessness of these indisputably brave individuals (whose sensibility is at times questionable), is measured on 'HARDOMETERS', and each is given a Hard Nut rating, out of 10!
Fifty-three pages of pithy but absorbing descriptions of both men and women who led their armies into battle, fighting for what they believed in, surviving . . . or not, makes for a thoroughly compelling read for even the most reluctant student of history.
So you already KNOW all about wars and battles?
If you read this book and take the quiz at the back, you'll find out how much you REALLY know, and learn a lot of fascinating stuff on the journey. It has a Timeline, and a Glossary to explain what all those complex words mean.
I recommend Wars and Battles to children in the middle and upper primary school years, whose interest in history and the world around them is still developing.
J. Kerr-Smith

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Text Prize 2017
NSW Premier Literary Awards shortlist 2017
Aurealis Awards winners
YABBA Awards shortlist 2017
Stella Prize 2017
2017 YALSA Teens' Top Ten Nominees
CBCA shortlists 2017
YA Book Prize 2017 shortlist
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 shortlist
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 shortlist
School Library Association Information Book Award 2017
2017 UKLA Book Awards shortlists
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates