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4.5 out of 5 stars63
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on 9 June 1999
THIS BOOK IS FULL OF INTERESTING STUFF ABOUT WORLD WAR 1. THIS IS HISTORY WITH THE NASTY BITS LEFT IN. WANT TO KNOW: WHAT THE "FAT KING"DID WITH FOOD SCRAPS VAND DEAD HORSE? HOW SNIFFING YOUR OWN PEE COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE IN A GAS ATTACK? WHY A PAIR OF OLD SOCKS GAVE AWAY A GERMAN SECRET? THIS BOOK TELLS YOU ABOUT THE HORRORS AND HARDSHIP OF THE WAR THAT WAS MEANT TO LAST FOUR MONTHS...BUT GROUND ON FOR FOUR GRIM YEARS. HISTORY HAS NEVERR BEEN SO HORRIBLE AND BY THE WAY BUY IT NOW!
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on 14 November 2013
Bought for grandson who enjoys the series on tv, read it all in the week running up to Remembrance Sunday. Good introduction to young children, who in my experience, lead to more questions and discussions of WW1 and 2, and the role our family had in it. Apparently approved of by his primary school also, so very pleased. Am now buying other horrible histories for him.
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on 15 February 2000
I have read all the Horrible History books and this one was the best. It had all the jokes, all the cartoons and all the infomation you needed about the first world war. There are also some intresting facts in there that you don't hear in your average History lesson! By Matthew Manning
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on 21 April 2000
It puts all the facts in a way that is easy to understand, as well as being very interesting and extremely funny. Impossible to put down! Kim Barea, Gib
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on 13 February 2014
The Horrible Histories series was consistently good throughout, but The Frightful First World War still manages to scare away the opposition with terrifying tales of trench foot, dead soldiers and dead horses. Deary's writing is evocative and informative at the same time, and he delivers the perfect book for kids who love to read and who love history with the gory bits left in.

World War I marked a period that we should never forget, and it's as important as ever for our youngsters to learn all about it. This is a great way to introduce them to the topic while entertaining them.
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on 20 July 2007
'The Frightful First World War tells you all the horrors and hardships of the war that was meant to last for four months...but ground on for four grim years.'

The usual Deary humour flows through the 136 pages packed with facts, written in a variety of type styles, and packed full of black & white illustrations/cartoons, from Martin Brown.

'Want to know how sniffing your own pee could save your life in the First World War?'

Read on!

Split into chapters:

1. 1914 ~ The year of the first shot
2. 1915 ~ The year of total war
3. 1916 ~ The year of the Somme
4. 1917 ~ The year of the mud
5. 1918 ~ The year of exhaustion

with an introduction, a 'Test Your Teacher' section and an epilogue.

Read on for curious quizzes, rotten recipes, gruesome games and much more.
History has never been so horrible!'

'Why did the Great War start?

Lots of big, thick history books have been written to answer that question.
But, to put it simply, by 1914 the countries of Europe had formed themselves into two big gangs...like street gangs.
The gang called the 'Central Powers' were led by the Germans and
the gang we call the 'Allies' were led by the French and British.
The two gangs started collecting weapons, making threats and swapping insults, the way gangs do.
All it needed was for one gang member to throw the first stone and a huge punch-up would follow...'

So exactly HOW did the First World War start?
It's never one of the gang leaders that starts the fight, is it?
It's always one of the scruffy little kids that hangs around the edge.
In this case the scruffy little kid was called Bosnia in the Allies' gang...'

Also available with The Woeful Second World War, as a more economical two titles under one cover edition:

The Frightful First World War AND the Woeful Second World War
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on 1 May 2016
I read this book as a very young kid. I revisited it recently after completing a few courses in history. The book is entirely from a British perspective and is better suited from English readers. As an Indian kid, I was very influenced by this thinking. It entirely glosses over the colonial aspects of the first world war which was one of the main things the powers were fighting about. By 1914, most of the world was under French/British/German occupation. And the colonies' contributions to the war without which the allies could not have won. It focuses almost exclusively on the European theatre, ignoring the other theatres (which is why it's called a world war, duh.) While it's funny etc., it skirts over the negative issues on the allies side (colonialism) because it is from an allies viewpoint and tends to make fun of foreigners in typical british fashion. Not recommended unless you're British.
For extra info read: [...]
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on 20 June 2004
The First World War isn't an easy subject to inject humour into, but this Horrible Histories audiobook does it admirably, without ever becoming tasteless. These audio productions are wonderfully written and performed - more please!
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on 18 July 2013
I bought this book to give to a child I know who is a real history buff. Because he's only in Year 1, I thought a rather lighthearted approach to the whole thing might be a good start. I read through it myself before passing it on and felt it had enough real material to balance the fun. I enjoyed my browse through and on more than one occasion thought "I didn't know that!" I don't know how the little guy will get on with it, but he sure glowed when I gave it to him. On the whole, the Horrible Histories series has done a fantastic job making kids interested in history. Hurrah!
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on 28 December 2012
This is a anything but boring way of learning our history, laugh out loud at some of the facts and educate yourself at the same time
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