WAR IS OVER, by David Almond and David Litchfield, Candlewick; Illustrated edition, May 12, 2020, Hardcover, $16.99 (ages 9-12)
Experience World War I through the eyes of a child in War is Over.
It’s 1918, and war is everywhere. John’s father is fighting in the trenches far away in France, while his mother works in a menacing munitions factory just along the road. His teacher says that John is fighting, too, that he is at war with enemy children in Germany. One day, in the wild woods outside town, John has an impossible moment: a dreamlike meeting with a German boy named Jan. John catches a glimpse of a better world, in which children like Jan and himself can one day scatter the seeds of peace. —Synopsis provided by Candlewick
War is Over is a short novel — I read it in about 40 minutes — that packs a large emotional punch. The way David Almond’s text is interwoven into David Litchfield’s black-and-white illustrations is inspired. Some pages are text only. Others are traditional text/illustration. The pages that really make this book sing are those that take on a more picture book quality where spacing and phrasing take their place within the images.
War is Over is a poignant novel that reminds how perceptive and smart children are. It makes a bit impact no matter your age.
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