Review Blog

Apr 24 2018

1918 by Libby Gleeson

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Australia's Great War series. Scholastic. 2018. ISBN 9781743622513
(Age: 12+) Recommended. This is the last book in the Australia's Great War series. Each book concentrates on a different year and the series has had a variety of authors. 1918 written by Libby Gleeson, concentrates on the final year of WW1, where it is obvious that fatigue and the toll of war has had a deep effect on the soldiers in the fields.
Based in the Western Front, Ned and his mates will be part of the battle at Villers-Bretonneux. It is through Ned's eyes that we experience the final months of battle. The conditions in the trenches and the horrifying injuries and loss are described by Ned who longs to return to his home in Australia. The great enthusiasm that Ned experienced signing up to fight has been replaced by fatigue and a hope to survive.
It is through correspondence between Ned and his family that we get a glimpse of his former life on the farm at home and the impact the war has on his family. There is obviously a larger issue between Ned and his brother Jim who has had to stay behind. The mystery of why Jim did not join up and Ned's guilt over his brother is slowly revealed during the novel.
Lighter moments are when Ned and his friends are on leave and meet young Australian nurses who have to cope with the bloodied and disfigured men who continually pass through their care.
Although I have seen this novel recommended to 9 year olds and older, I feel that this book would be more appropriate from 12 years on.
I recommend this book to students in upper primary and high school.
Jane Moore

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