Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

World War II: Fighting for Freedom

World War II: Fighting for Freedom

Peter Chrisp
For ages 9 to 12
Scholastic, 2010   ISBN: 978-0545249843

The story of World War II is a complicated one, and sometimes it is difficult to unravel all the different threads that make up an account of what took place during the war years. Why did the war break out? How was this war different from the ones that took place before 1939? How did this war affect civilians who lived in the war zones and outside them?

In this book, Peter Chrisp answers these and many other questions. He offers young readers a narrative that is easy to understand and that is also very interesting. The main text is broken up by annotated photos, maps, quotes, and more. It is presented in a scrapbook type format, which makes it less intimidating to readers who normally do not care for nonfiction titles.

The author begins by helping his readers to understand why the war began. He explains how the Treaty of Versailles undermined Germany’s national pride and its economy, and how German anger and suffering led to the rise of the Nazi political party. He then goes on to describe how the appeasement policies of France and Britain allowed Germany to take over Austria and Czechoslovakia. It was only when Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939 that the Allies decided that war could no longer be avoided.

All the major events that took place in the war are explored, including the German blitzkrieg tactics, the home front, the fall of France, the Battle of Britain, the Blitz, and Operation Barbarossa.

This is an excellent title for young readers as it gives them a concise account of the war, and it also helps them get a sense of what it would have been like to live during that time in history.