Thursday, February 28, 2008

Archie's War: My Scrapbook of the First World War 1914-1918

Archie Albright is a typical 10-year-old boy living in East London. For his birthday he receives a blank scrapbook from his uncle who lives in the country. Initially he uses it as a place to write down his random thoughts, draw his comic strips and keep his various little boy treasures (cat teeth, beetles and toe fluff). The war quickly creeps in and becomes the focal point of the entire scrapbook. Archie creates new comic characters representing various members of his family and their political viewpoints. He includes letters from relatives fighting on the front, newspaper articles, maps and other war-related memorabilia instead of bugs and teeth. It is amazing how much can be learned about a person (real or fictitious) by reading their scrapbook. Not only do they include their personal thoughts and reactions to everything around them, but they can share a lot about their personality by the pictures and objects they include. Archie's War gives the reader insight into what it must have really been like to be growing up during such a chaotic time in our world's history.

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