Books by Ian Benfold Hayward

ONE BOY’S WAR by Lynn Huggins-Cooper
Released: Dec. 1, 2009

Riding the steady tide of British "lest we forget" war memorials, this reconstructed version of an actual Tommy's experiences in the trenches pairs a partly epistolary text to Haywood's sketchy, subdued watercolors free of strong emotions, shocking details or, except for a few pale spots in one scene, blood. Eager to "get a crack at the Kaiser," Sydney enlists at 15 and finds it all a bit of a lark—until the trenches fill with rainwater, comrades lose legs or lives, the rats and lice proliferate and, at last, fatal word comes to go "over the top." In a final irony, Sydney's unknowing father, also a soldier, writes on the last page of his joy at the prospect of coming home to wife and son. American audiences may not be as responsive to this poignant commemoration, but it makes a sobering reminder, next to the likes of Michael Foreman's War Game (1994) or (set in a subsequent world war) Mick Manning and Brita Grandström's Tail-End Charlie (2009), that many young people never did come back. There is an afterword, but much of it is under the jacket flap. (Picture book. 8-10)Read full book review >