Jimmy's war : 1915 : do you dare? by Sherryl Clark
Do You Dare? series. Puffin, 2015. ISBN 9780143308027
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: World War 1; Family Life; School life; Australia 1915 - social life and conditions. This historical fiction novel is based in the Melbourne suburb of Yarraville during 1915. Life is tough for Jimmy's family, his father died in a factory accident, his older brother Arthur is away at war and his mother is ill. Life is tough, there's hardly enough money for rent or food. When Jimmy loses his after school job delivering groceries for old Mr. Brown, he's forced into making some tough decisions - to run errands for the local bookie or find work at the local railway goods yard. He's hounded by the local sergeant's warning about his playing truant.
Things become serious for Jimmy, when his mother falls ill and he needs to find a way of making money. The household changes when Arthur a former football hero, returns home after being injured in the fighting. Luckily they have helpful neighbours to support them.
Sheryll Clark's well-researched novel provides an insight into the harsh realities of inner-city life, clothing, housing, food, school-life, the difficulties faced by returning soldiers and their families in 1915. This series places strong boy characters into the reality of the social life and conditions faced during historically significant times. Jimmy's War is a valuable addition to the collection.