The Story of a Boy Soldier
Written and illustrated by Mark Wilson
Hachette Australia. Australian, History, Junior, Picture. Hardback rrp $24.99.
Here is a book that is written for a young audience about a very unsettling time in Australian’s history. With wonderful pencil drawings and water colours it is a story that is poignant, fascinating and true. The brilliant artwork, often cleverly replaces the words.
My Mother’s Eyes is the story of fifteen year-old, William, who in 1914 is swept up with the stories of the war and slips out the back door with an old suitcase to enlist. He lies about his age and is readily accepted. Using extracts of his letters to home, the story describes what he goes through until he reaches Fromelles in France.
My Mother’s Eyes was based on true stories of the 23 teenage soldiers, one of whom was only 14 years of age, who fought with the Australian army in World War 1. This book is a wonderful tribute to all the men who served. Having had a grandfather that fought in the same area at the same time, I will use this book as the means to help my young children understand just a little of what happened.
Every school library needs a copy of this book and all Australian children (and adults) need to read it (at least once). To me, it is the perfect explanation and representation of the meaning of Anzac Day.
A picture book for all to read, discuss and learn from.