Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand

The Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand

Valerie Bodden
Ages 9 to 12
The Creative Company, 2010   ISBN: 978-1583417317

The world in 1900 was very different from what the world was like in 1800. By 1900 the Industrial Revolution was in full swing and many of the more powerful European countries had created empires for themselves, the British Empire being the biggest. There were times when the carving up of regions or territories caused problems. In the Balkans this was definitely the case. When Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908, the Serbs living in these areas and the Serbs living in Serbia were furious. Secret Serbian Nationalist societies formed with the goal of freeing the Serbians from Austro-Hungarian rule.

In June of 1914 the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina on a goodwill mission. With his wife Sophie, the duke toured the region for several days. On the 28th of June he and Sophie were driven through the streets of Sarajevo. Assassins were situated along the route of their drive and one of them threw a bomb at the Archduke’s car. The bomb bounced out of the car and exploded without harming the Archduke or his wife. However later that same day, a young nationalist called Gavrilo Princip successfully shot and killed Franz and Sophie, setting off a series of events that would lead to the beginning of World War I.

This book  will give young readers a vivid and fascinating look at what the world was like in 1914. Readers will come to appreciate that the world was ripe for war, and the assassination of the Archduke was like a spark that is used to light a fire.

Beautifully written and full of period photographs, this Days of Change title truly brings history to life.