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Comment: NO writing or highlighting. Binding tight. Light shelf wear to dust jacket edges and corners.
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Christmas in the Trenches Hardcover


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Christmas in the Trenches + The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree + Christmas Day in the Morning
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 520L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers; Book & CD edition (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561453749
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561453740
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 12.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-4–In 1914, British and German troops were dug into trenches in France, facing one another across the barbed wire and barren ground called No Man's Land. On Christmas Eve, the British soldiers heard the Germans singing Stille Nacht and joined in. Spontaneously, soldiers on both sides climbed out of their trenches and met in between the lines, sharing small gifts, food, and drink. They played a game of soccer. Then they went back to their trenches. The next day, the shooting resumed. McCutcheon's account of this true event is based on a song he wrote about it in 1984. An accompanying CD includes that song, Silent Night/Stille Nacht, and a reading of the story. Sørenson's illustrations sanitize trench warfare somewhat. Michael Foreman's War Game (Pavillion, 2002) is a more sophisticated–and somewhat more cynical–presentation of this same Christmas truce.–Virginia Walter, University of California, Los Angeles
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-4. After Christmas dinner, Grandpa tells Thomas and Nora about his unforgettable Christmas Eve as a young soldier back in 1914, when German and Allied soldiers stopped fighting and came together to celebrate the holiday. They sang Christmas carols (including "Silent Night"), shared small gifts, and played music and soccer in No Man's Land. But as dawn broke, they returned to their separate trenches, waiting for the bombs, battles, and killing to begin again. The story is based on folksinger McCutcheon's song by the same name, which is printed in full at the end of the book, and the the text is clear and lyrical ("in two tongues one song filled the night sky"). Sorensen's beautiful double-page spreads in sepia shades show the young men from the two sides celebrating together--with individuals just like them. Lengthy notes fill in the history and present an impassioned call for peace. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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18
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The message is a valuable one for children.
Jack Ouligian
A wonderful story, well written and beautifully illustrated.
Mike Taylor
Book comes with the story and original song on CD.
B. Brundige

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By B. Brundige on August 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful children's book filled with beautiful pictures, and a very moving tale about the WW1 Christmas truce. Book comes with the story and original song on CD.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John Green on October 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a well-written, well-illustrated, compelling children's story about the fraternization of rival soldiers during the First World War. The story of English and German soldiers singing "Silent Night" together in the trenches really humanizes the combatants in war and should lead the reader to question the sacrifice of human life in conflict. (Even older children will find this interesting, as a starting-point for exploring the First World War and other conflicts.)
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Author John McCutcheon does a generally fine job of balancing the private hope for peace with the public horror of war in this tale of the increasingly well-known Christmas truces of WWI. These holiday-inspired truces occurred in the "No Man's Land" between the two entrenched (literally) armies, and NcCutcheon backs his history-inspired fiction with a closing "Historical Note" and references to two books: "Silent Night," by S. Weintraub, and :Christmas Truce," by M. Brown and S. Seaton.

The violence, boredom, and sheer stupidity of this bloody war are only suggested to its intended early elementary school audience: A shadowy view of a man on a stretcher, cold, bored, sometimes sick soldiers. However, there is no denying that the book sanitizes WWI. At the conclusion, drawings of prone soldiers suggest being gunned down, but I doubt the young reader will make that interpretation.

Instead, this book is about peace breaking out--if only for a night, and Christmas Eve at that. The soldiers, separated by about maybe 100 yards, hear each other singing CHristmas songs, and the first move towards unity is a joint singing of "Silent Night." A bt later, a lone German soldier with a white flag bravely walks over the snow, and soon the trenches empty, gifts are exchanged, photos shared, and an impromptu soccer game is played on the former battlefield. That's where one can feel the impact of the book--in one transcendent night when soldiers recognized their shared humanity, the common feelings that lay deep within them.

Yes, I wanted the book to show the awful conditions in the trenches, to show even slightly more evidence of war's ravages, and to mention the who and why of the orders that placed them here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Deirdre Rose on December 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon illustrated by Henri Sorensen is a great read at any age. I had heard fragments of the story of the shared Christmas Eve between the British and the Germans in WWI but never as beautifully illustrated, told and sung as in this book. John McCutcheon has a clear voice in every aspect and with our troops heading home it is a poignant story in deed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bobnbunk on June 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every child should hear this story, regardless of the veracity of all the details. The situation DID occur, and this rendition makes for heartfelt reading and good discussion. I read it to our grandchildren's 2nd grade school class and the children were captivated.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mike Taylor on March 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful story, well written and beautifully illustrated. I have seen

John McCutcheon perform the song (the book comes with a CD) many times.

I would strongly recommend the book and any of John's CD to anyone. You should also catch one of his concerts if you get the chance.
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By Virginia Ezelle on January 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful book - illustrations, story & music. A beautiful story that shows the true meaning of Christmas and also a little history.
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By pam on December 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
what a great story,,hard to believe it is true yet it is,,we all could learn thru wars past ,,loved it
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