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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 21 February 2013
What a beautiful book. I bought this as a gift for my son's friend, who loves anything to do with WW1. I did warn his mum that there isn't a happy ending, though - as the little boy is only 7, and I didn't want to upset him. The book is just gorgeous - such lovely illustrations and something that I think all children should know about - 'our' history.
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on 20 October 2010
We found the book War Game absolutely amazing. Michael Foreman is a genius writer.
The book is about four teenage boys who after a game of football on the village green decide to join the army to fight in World War 1.
The boys believe that it will be a short adventure, where they will have lots of fun.
Unfortunately, the adventure lasts several years and the highlight for the four friends is a memorable game of football played against the enemy on no-mans land.
We whole heartedly recommend this book to you to read. Not only was it a quality story, but it helped us with our learning about the world wars.
We think that you need to be over 8 years of age to understand the story.
It's a book that we will never give away and that we talk about a lot.
We found parts of the book quite emotional and our teacher nearly cried when she read it to us.
Definitely a 5 star book, but we would like to give it 10!

Mrs B's Literacy Group. Richmond Hill Primary School Doncaster
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on 28 July 2013
This is a really good story to help children visualise what it might have been like in the 1st World War in the trenches. It is a sad ending, but my class really enjoyed it and did some great writing afterwards.
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on 28 November 2014
Lovely illustrations have been put to this classic real life story set at Christmas time in the awesome trenches of World War 1. Amid the sound of gunfire, suddenly there's a silence and carols start to be sung by the opposing enemies -- the same tune, but one with English words, the other in German. Miraculously a soldier from the German side emerges putting his arms in the air as if to surrender. An English soldier does the same to the cries of 'Don't do it, its a trick!', but both meet, hands are shaken, and then a hug. Then as a real gesture of goodwill and friendship, 'luxury' goods like chocolate and cigarettes are exchanged ... suddenly, war has ceased and they all play a friendly game of football in muddy no man's land, and yet the very next day, it was back to bullets, bayonets and yet more bloodshed. Miraculous that Christmas Day may seem, but such is war. It all seems so pointless, and its 'a game' that nobody ever seems to win after literally millions have been massacred. However, my 10 year old grandson has been to see the story enacted on stage as part of the school curriculum. He loved it, and hence this purchase, which proves that a good read is better than a computer screen any day, but doubtless he'll want the DVD as well!
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on 17 November 2015
This is a poignant story about soldiers arranging a football match between the opposing trenches. The water colour pictures are a delight. Children who are old enough to watch war movies will begin to think about the sadness of war. There are also notes for older children about the history. Both of Michael Foreman's uncles died in WW1.
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on 29 December 2014
I recently discovered this book when teaching WWI to a lower ability Year 6 group. They were transfixed by the story and it helped foster their enthusiasm for this era. I used the book to explore the events surrounding Christmas during WW1, both at home and abroad. This led to a variety of writing tasks, the best being a letter home. I would highly recommend this book if teaching children about WW1, especially boys, as this is the first time I have seen children truly become enthralled by and understand the events surrounding this period in time. The BBC animation of the same name supports this text beautifully and is well worth buying.
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on 6 December 2011
As a teacher I wanted this book to do some work with our KS2 children on Remembrance Day. I knew this story vaguely and someone recommended the book. Reading it is very emotional and the way it is written and the pictures are a work of art. Can't help but have a little cry. It is one of those books everyone should read and sums up the absolute stupidity and futility of war. Beautiful book to treasure.
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on 19 March 2002
War Game is about four boys who went to join up for the First World War.Their names are Billy, Freddie,Lacey and Will.
One day they went to sign up for the World War to Honour their Country. They were disappointed when the went to training camp because they did not get training clothes they had to do it in what the were wearing. When they moved from England to France they walked through the town and got lots and lots of cheers! They were very proud! As they went through a town in France (in a windowless bus with little holes you could peep through) That was already blown to bits, Freddie thought it looked just like fireworks! When they got to the discusting, muddy trenches Will and Freddie were first to be posted as sentries. By the time it was dinner they all felt like not having any dinner because they had to eat rats, slugs (YUK) beatles and rock, hard biscuits. They all thought war would be over by Christmas but it wasn't. On Christmas Eve the Germans and English kept singing songs to each other. On Christmas day they had a nice cooked breakfast and after that a sudden but very exciting game of football happened. Then straight after that blackness fell and the was over.
I think this is a great book and I definitely would read it again.I would give it FIVE out of FIVE. The plot is just great. I would recommend this to eight years and over. My best part was when the Germans and the English had a game of football. I thought there is no negative parts in this story.
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on 13 June 2004
A wonderful outstretched hand as an offer of peace between our two countries. I bought WARGAME several years ago at Heathrow and was immediately captured by the gentleness and love in this book of Foreman's. Having often suffered for many years from the "image" of the brutish German that was persistently rendered in all comics and most other publications available to children, I was very moved to see that a British illustrator depicted the German boys and men playing football with their "Tommy"-counterparts looking just as normal and pleasant as the Britons. A subtle and important way to make peace in our wonderful, hopeful, interesting new United Europe.
Some time later I got to meet Mr. Foreman, and he lived up to the expectations formed by his book: a great gentleman with an overwhelming kindness. He certainly is not in the world to further cement stereotypes of whatever kind.
A European Championship currently under way or the next World Championships would be a doubly healthy moment to read this book or to give it away as a present.
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on 19 March 2002
In all my book reading days never have I read a truley adventurous, heartwarming and historic book cramped superbly into an excellent story. The four lifelike characters in this story (Fred, Billy, Lacey, and Will) feel they need an adventure (and they picked the right story!) They join the army for they thought that it would be fun.Little did they know they were wrong... It gives a tremendous feel and interest, not just for the army but lives of people in the villages.
Michael Foreman has superb historic knowledge and it is greatly used in this epic tale. Winner of the Grand Prix Smarties Prize he will hopefully get more of his most acheived awards.
I would recommend this to the middle aged child up to the elderly. It is easy to follow and is a joy to read. The illustrations give ideal pictures of life in the trenches, at home and around the villages. I don't often read historic storys but this is a book for keeps.Forever.
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