This short biography in the Collins Big Cat series of children's books, about Walter Tull: Footballer and War Hero, is an ideal introduction to the more complex issues that children will face at all levels both in school and socially. It may be of particular interest to those interested in the problems of racial identity in today's world.
The book covers Walter's life from his birth in Folkestone, Kent, in 1888, to his eventual death at the Second Battle of The Somme in 1918. It is aimed at children up to age 12 and is written using a vocabulary that school children should be familiar with at that age level. Walter Tull was the first mixed-race combat officer in the British Army. We learn of his years as an orphan, his determination to "make something of himself", his footballing skills when he played for Northampton and Tottenham Hotspur, his leadership qualities where he was noted for "gallantry and coolness" under pressure whilst leading his men as an army officer. Having fought in Italy and Passchendaele he was finally deployed in France where he was killed in 1918. His commanding officer wrote of him that, "his courage was of a high order and was combined with a quiet and unassuming manner" he recommended that Walter be awarded the Military Cross, but in an age of contradictions the medal was never awarded. No doubt due to the prevailing prejudice concerning colour of skin. Dan Lyndon has created a worthy biography. Very well illustrated by Roger Wade Walker. 60 pages, Published in 2011.
A great resource for any history teacher (or student)teaching/learning about C20th Britain or World War One, and a genuinely interesting read. I thought that it was really well done: well written, right depth, great story, well judged, and avoids the possible dangers of sententiousness and facile moralising/'preachiness'. Takes between 15 and 20 minutes to read, eminently useable in the classroom, well illustrated and produced.