It's written for everybody and is pieced together with as much emphasis on the way the War affected families at home too. I was constantly moved both by new extracts and ones I knew well. For example, seeing Michael Foreman's illustrations of the Christmas football game and then the next stark images of No Man's land at war once again was striking in a different size book. A piece I didn't know at all about Noel Streatfield (chosen by Jacqueline Wilson) who wrote 'Ballet Shoes'. It's about Noel's cousin who wanted to be an actor but went to fight, having always been the one who was, in no way 'manly'. He came back on leave 'broken' but couldn't express himself to his elders and confided in his cousin Noel. He spent his leave hardly eating and being physically sick, unable to function. He returned to the front and never came back. All the pieces are moving but some seem to strike something in us for different reasons.
I would say it's almost an obligation bestowed upon us to read this, certainly to ensure our schools have this book too. There is art work, poetry, fiction, non fiction. There's also thought provoking history to ponder on such as the number of 'aunties' left in England afterwards-women who never married as such high number of the male population didn't come back.
Not an easy read because of the sadness but easy in the way it flows, in the way it's collated and made so personalise so you really hear what the contributors are saying-you feel as if you're listening to them in a room and it really is worth listening.