“Once Upon A Wartime,” Imperial War Museum (London, England)

Youth literature is cropping up in museums a lot lately. After my recent visit to Toronto I highlighted an exhibit at the Art Galley of Ontario composed of Walter Trier’s illustrations. Today let’s take a cyber field trip to London, courtesy of the fabulous Playing By The Book.

All Rights Reserved, IWM

This week Playing by the Book ran a two part (1 2) series on “Once Upon A Wartime,” an exhibit at the Imperial War Museum (London) that uses five children’s novels to explore how children experience war. Looks excellent. Wish I could snap my fingers and visit. Any time you want to adopt me, Britain, give a shout. Have tea cozy, will travel.

The videos below describe the exhibit further:

The books featured are:

I’m not familiar with any of them. Are you?



Filed under Field Trip, Youth Literature in the Wild

2 responses to ““Once Upon A Wartime,” Imperial War Museum (London, England)

  1. Zoe

    Apart from The Silver Sword, these are all set in the UK so that’s perhaps why they’re not so well known in Canada. What books would you have chosen for a similar exhibition in Canada? What Canadian children’s literature is there about war and conflict that you would particularly recommend?

    • That’s a good question. I’ll have to ponder. I was thinking of hunting up a list of my own in response. You beat me to the punch! 🙂

      I’m actually in the States, so most of our best wartime children’s literature would probably be set during either our Revolutionary or Civil War. My Brother Sam Is Dead, a Newbery winner, is one possible title. (Not that I’d necessarily recommend it. I have a hazy memory of not liking it when we read it in school.) Little Women is another good candidate. We have quite a few WWII era books but, obviously, they aren’t as immediate as books set in the UK during the same period. I did adore Judy Blume’s Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself and Patricia Reilly Giff’s Lily’s Crossing though.

      You’ve probably heard of Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars? That’s a fantastic book, although not set in America. For older children (middle – high school), I’d recommend All But My Life, a memoir by a Holocaust survivor and American immigrant Gerda Weissmann Klein.

      I was a little surprised that Goodnight, Mister Tom wasn’t included in the IWM exhibit. Do you know it? I’m guessing Carrie’s War covers the same territory. I know I read a lot of British novels set during WWII as a child but I’m having trouble remembering them now.

      Luckily my local library has a copy of Carrie’s War. I plan to check it out soon.

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