The horrible histories series of books is best described as history books for children with special emphasis put on the gruesome and strange making the books more fun and interesting to read. This book is about life in the trenches in WW1.
The book is split into two parts, the first half tells things from the English side, the other half from the Germans' side, I really like this as no one side is portrayed as the goodie or baddie, instead we see the war from both points of view.
An interesting point made is that both sides thought they were the good guys and told lies about the other side to demonise the enemy.
The fact that the leaders were out of touch with life in the trenches is described.
Clothing and weaponry of the soldiers is covered, included the amusing fact that many Scottish solders started wearing ladies' tights under their kilts to protect their bums from mustard gas!
The squalid conditions of the trenches are covered along with the terrible food,rats and lice. Here is a funny poem: "A terror hangs over our heads I scarcely dare to think Of the awful doom that each one dreads From which the bravest shrink. It's not the crushing shrapnel shell It's not the sniper's shot, It's not the machine gun's bursts of Hell, These matter not a jot. It's a far worse thing than that, son, With which we have to grapple. It's if we see another one More tin of plum and apple"
As you would expect from horrible histories the toilet arrangements of the solders gets lots of details and is very nasty indeed!
How the soldiers entertained themselves ( such as racing bugs) is covered along with some of the songs they used to sing.
The terrible psychological damage caused by life in the trenches (shell shock) is covered along with the use of firing squads against deserters.
There are some ghosts stories from the trenches as well.
This book certainly does not glamorise war, it is informative and fair to both sides and a very good read indeed.
As always these Horrible History books are great and my son (age 10) who has a fascination with WW1 and WW2 found this one absorbing reading it from cover to cover twice in the first day alone. Including colour all the way through was a great difference but this book is not the same dimension as all previous Horrible History books and now sits rather lonely on a different shelf in his book case!!
I think that this book is really good it is very amusing and I have learnt a lot of facts about world war I. It tells you about all different types of subjects on this topic from what clothes soldiers would wear to the guns they would use to what they would eat.
AMUSING, FUNNY, DROLL, WITH A LARGE HINT OF TRUTH. I THINK IF THE SOLDIERS OF THE TRENCHES COULD HAVE READ IT, THEY WOULD HAVE LAUGHED AT THE IRONY, BUT SOME WOULD HAVE SAID "HANG ON A MINUTE, ARE WE REALLY BEING TREATED LIKE THIS"