When the Guns Fall Silent – James Riordan

When guns fall silentStanding among the war graves, Jack sees a face he recognizes. Suddenly, it’s 1914 again and he’s a young lad back in the trenches of France. Visions of killing and misery come to him with horrible clarity. But then Jack remembers too the incredible moment when the guns fell silent for a short time, and fighting gave way to football on the frozen ground of No-Man’s-Land. This amazing story is based on true facts from the First World War.

Log in to read the ebook here!

World War Z – Max Brooks

1993860(From Goodreads)

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. “World War Z” is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the twelve-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Most of all, the book captures with haunting immediacy the human dimension of this epochal event. Facing the often raw and vivid nature of these personal accounts requires a degree of courage on the part of the reader, but the effort is invaluable because, as Mr. Brooks says in his introduction, “By excluding the human factor, aren’t we risking the kind of personal detachment from history that may, heaven forbid, lead us one day to repeat it? And in the end, isn’t the human factor the only true difference between us and the enemy we now refer to as ‘the living dead’?”

Max Brooks’ website.

World War Z zombie apocalypse survival guide Pinterest.

World War Z film trailer:

A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story – Linda Sue Park

7981456A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Linda Sue Park’s website.

Linda Sue Park discusses A Long Walk to Water:

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein

Code name VerityThis is the story of two young women during World War Two. Maddie is a pilot, ‘Verity’ is a spy and they are best friends. Maddie is the pilot of the plane that takes Verity into Nazi-occupied France on a secret mission but it all goes terribly wrong. Verity is captured by the Gestapo. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face execution. In her written confession Verity weaves an intriguing story of espionage and friendship as she battles for her life.

The Book Smugglers

Shahana – Rosanne Hawke

ShahanaA story about Shahana and her young brother Tanveer who live close to the ‘Line of Control’ that separates Kashmir into the Pakistani and Indian controlled sectors.  Shahana and Tanveer are orphans of the conflict and develop close bonds with other children who are also adversely impacted by the events around them.


An Elephant in the Garden – Michael Morpurgo

Elephant in the gardenActually set in Germany during World War Two, this novel opens with an aged woman, Lizzie, telling her life story to a young boy in her Canadian nursing home. Life had been generally good for Lizzie and her younger brother, Karl, until their father is sent away to fight on the Russian front and the war starts to get more real. Lizzie’s mother gets work as a zoo keeper to support the family but as an Allied bombing of Dresden seems imminent, all the dangerous animals have to be shot. She can’t bear, though, to see Marlene, an orphaned elephant, shot and so rescues her and brings her home to keep in their back garden! Lizzie and Karl fall in love with Marlene too and when the family has to flee the bombing, they naturally take Marlene with them. On their journey, they meet a Canadian navigator who risks his own life to save theirs.


A brief history of Montmaray (The Montmaray Journals #1) – Michelle Cooper

A-Brief-History-of-MontmarayWritten as a journal from the perspective of Princess Sophia, one of the few remaining Montmaravian citizens left on their storm battered island kingdom in the Bay of Biscay, this is a highly engaging beginning to a fantastic trilogy. Sophie starts her journal on her sixteenth birthday; it’s 1936 and we start to get hints of the impending war. It’s almost impossible to eke out an existence on their island home but the tone is not as sombre or bleak as you might expect – rather it is often light-hearted and whimsical. Recording their daily life, often in her secret code, Sophie details those around her; including her brother Toby, tomboy sister Henry, their cousin Veronica, and their insane Uncle King John – which makes for an interesting character mix. Personally, I found the second and third books – with their focus on the unravelling of WWII – even better!

Book Smugglers