A comprehensive study of the Great War, emphasizing the changes the war brought and how it shaped our modern world.
World War I destroyed empires, gave Hitler grievances to exploit in his rise to power and made the United States a world power. Rasmussen offers a challenging volume that doesn’t ignore the complexities of history, beginning with a look at Europe in 1914, what triggered the conflict and the complicated alliances that pulled nations into the war. The study is full of archival photographs, extensive sidebars on related topics such as the Christmas truce and Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, and reproductions of posters, newspaper ads and charts. Curiously absent are maps that could help readers follow the ebb and flow of battles. As in other volumes in the For Kids series, the combination of a serious historical text with kid-friendly activities creates a disconnect: The text works for older middle school readers, but they are likely to find the activities childish or even condescending. The challenging text is engaging by itself without the enticement to make gas masks, parachutes, stew and war bread.
A solid exploration of a horrific war that unfortunately didn’t turn out to be “the war to end all wars.” (timeline, resources, source notes, glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)