Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Armistice Day: The New Zealand Story

Armistice Day: The New Zealand Story
By Philippa Werry
Published by New Holland
PB $24.99

“Armistice Day … remains a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who died in war, and those whose sufferings continued long after war ended. It is a chance to think about the meaning of victory and peace, and what it means to remember or to forget.” – Philippa Werry

As centenary commemorations for World War I continue, Armistice Day presents an invaluable resource to assist children in their comprehension of war, its aftermath, the establishment of the United Nations, and New Zealand’s role in international peacekeeping operations.

Philippa Werry uses the same thorough research that has made her companion title, Anzac Day: The New Zealand Story, such a success (7,000 copies sold since publication) and draws on a fascinating collection of illustrations, photographs and text to provide a gripping, moving description of how the war ended in Europe, and what awaited returning troops. Kiwi soldiers came home to a terrible influenza epidemic, as the population grieved for the loss of life.

Philippa relays the enormous efforts families went to in order to try and travel to Europe to visit the battlefields and discover where their loved ones were buried. The creation of mass cemeteries and peace memorials are also detailed.

The book concludes with a description of how Armistice Day is marked every year at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, here and overseas, and provides suggestions for children, their families and teachers on how they can commemorate the event, and celebrate and help work towards world peace.


Former librarian Philippa Werry is a well-known children’s writer whose non-fiction, poetry, stories and plays have been widely published, and also broadcast on National Radio. 
She has written several other books for children on the subject of war, including Anzac Day: the New Zealand story, shortlisted for the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults, and Best Mates, illustrated by Bob Kerr. 
New Holland also published her Waitangi Day: The New Zealand story. 
Philippa lives in Wellington and visits schools around the country as part of the Writers in Schools programme.   

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