Now I understand why the landing on April 25th is being called heroic.
We’ve landed in hell.
Bob didn’t make it. He was hit as we struggled ashore. I keep going over that moment. Writing a letter to his wife was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Harder even than going over the side of our ship.
Britain has declared war on Germany, and Australia has vowed to be there. Jim, seeing a chance for adventure rushes to join up before the war ends without him. Soon he and his horse, Breaker, are sailing from Melbourne, off to do their bit. For four years Jim lives the terrible reality of life on the frontline. If he ever returns home, he will be a changed man.
Light Horse Boy is a beautiful record of one soldier’s war. Whilst fiction, it presents a story which could so well be the story of a real soldier’s experience. Using a blend of third person narrative and letters, chiefly between Jim and his sister Alice, back in Australia, Woofer takes readers on a journey through the the years of the first World War, focussing on the role of the Lighthorseman in Gallipoli and Egypt.
Light Horse Boy is a companion volume to Lighthouse Girl and features the same beautiful hard cover design and the brilliant illustrative work of Brian Simmonds. The two complement each other beautifully, though focussing on different aspects of the same war and featuring different characters (with the exception of Charlie, who is friends with Jim but also connects with the lighthouse girl, Fay).
A picture book for older readers, Light Horse Boy is suitable for upper primary and teens.
Light Horse Boy, by Dianne Wolfer, illustrated by Brian Simmonds
Fremantle Press, 2013
Available from good bookstores or online.
Youngsters will enjoy de Rougemont’s tall tales, and the journey on which they take him, from poverty to fame and back again.
Louis raised a hand to silence the crowd. “In uncharted waters, my schooner drifted through heaving seas, where gruesome fish with bulging eyes and hairy moustaches reared out of the water.”
A member of the Royal Geographical Society revealed himself. “Is everything you say true?” he asked.
Louis smiled serenely. “Every word,” he replied without hesitation.
Louis de Rougemont is an explorer. He has written a book telling of his travels – travels so breathtaking amazing people queue up to come and hear him speak. There’s the story of riding a giant turtle, the one about wrestling a crocodile, and even one about finding giant nuggets of gold. Everywhere he goes Louis is feted and applauded. Until newspapers reveal him to be a charlatan – possibly the greatest liar on earth.
The Greatest Liar on Earth is wonderful historic fiction, telling the “true” story of a man who made his name by telling lies. Youngsters will enjoy de Rougemont’s tall tales, and the journey on which they take him, from poverty to fame and back again. Back of book facts show the truth on which some of his stories were based, and the illustrations bring to life both the rich tapestry of Victorian London and the exotic settings of the fraudster’s “adventures”.
The team of author Mark Greenwood and artist Frane Lessac have a knack for bringing history to life in a way sure to engage young readers, who will be intrigued with the character and his story at the same time they are learning about the past, and receiving a gentle lesson about the consequences of not telling the truth.
The Greatest Liar on Earth, by Mark Greenwood & Frane Lessac
Walker Books, 2012
This book is avaialble from good bookstores, or online from Fishpond.