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Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting Hardcover – October 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 1160L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 9.1.2009 edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545130492
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545130493
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Jim Murphy:

A Newbery Honor Book for The Great Fire

A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book for Blizzard!

*"Spectacular!" —Kirkus Reviews, starred review of Truce

*"An example of stellar nonfiction." —Booklist, starred review of Blizzard!

*"A veritable cinematic account." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review of The Great Fire

About the Author

Jim Murphy is the celebrated author of more than thirty-five books for young readers, most notably TRUCE: THE DAY THE SOLDIERS STOPPED FIGHTING and THE GREAT FIRE, a Newbery Honor Winner. His carefully researched, engaging, and elegantly written nonfiction has garnered the most prestigious awards in the field. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, with his wife and their two sons.

More About the Author

Jim Murphy began his career in children's books as an editor, but managed to escape to become a writer, entering a life of personal and creative happiness and enduring financial uncertainty. He's convinced that the latter keeps him coming back to his computer to write every day and feels that a sense of impending doom is the doorway to creativity. He has never counted the number of books he's published (feeling the time and energy is better spent doing research and writing) but guesses that he has over thirty books to his credit. Jim's work has been honored with numerous awards, including two American Llibrary Association Newbery Honor Book Awards, an ALA Robert F. Sibert Award and Sibert Honor Book Award, three National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Awards, a Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and a BG/HB Honor Book Award, two SCBWI Golden Kite Awards, and been a finalist for the National Book Award. Recently, he was given the ALA Margaret A. Edwards Award for "his significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature."

Customer Reviews

I think readers of all ages will love this book.
Barbara M.
The book is full of historical photographs, illustrations and quotes from those in the events.
Steven R. McEvoy
Here is a story about the best that mankind has to offer.
Ellen J. Frankovitch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book tells of an amazing event in the history of warfare. However it also does much more than just that. It gives a clear and concise history of what lead up to World War I, and the different governments' plans to achieve a quick victory, none of which worked. What ended up happening was a long brutal war, with new technology of mass destruction and no new tactics. Hundreds of thousands died uselessly, because of these outdated tactics combined with new weapons, and a belief that each side thought they were superior and in the right.

What ended up happening was a giant standoff - trench warfare that had trenches that ran from the North Sea Coast all the way to the Swiss border, with the trenches being from 50 to 1000 yards apart. The Germans were on one side of the trench and the French, English and Belgians were on the other. Originally both sides thought the war would be over by Christmas, each side shelling, bombing and launching raids on the other. Massive losses on both sides contributed to doubt among those on the front lines. Then on Christmas Eve of 1914, a miracle happened. Almost all the way along the lines a spontaneous peace erupted; for more than 24 hours no fighting took place, the soldiers met in the middle of no-man's land between the trenches and exchanged gifts and songs and Christmas greetings and wishes.

This book masterfully tells this story of politicians and military leaders who wanted to continue fighting and soldiers who did not obey orders and had a Christmas miracle. The book is full of historical photographs, illustrations and quotes from those in the events. The special features at the end of the book will be great for educators, students, or students of history alike. It has a great timeline, extensive notes and sources, and a section with more references for World War I resources, from books, movies and on the web.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ellen J. Frankovitch on October 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
What a remarkable book this is! I'd heard something about a truce in 1914, but I never had a context to place it in. Here is a story about the best that mankind has to offer. It is also a story about a race to war, and a war based on lies -- all things that sound ever so sadly familiar in terms of today. Jim Murphy lets soldiers voice speak, and he uses remarkable period images to create a thought-provoking, moving volume. I'll be giving this handsome book out as Christmas presents. What could be better than sharing a book about peace?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Barbara M. on October 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book! It tells the incredible true story of the spontaneous Christmas truce that happened on the battlefields of World War I, when soldiers on both sides came out of the trenches and exchanged gifts and songs instead of gunfire. TRUCE has an exciting narrative and vivid quotes from diaries and letters, and it captures the sounds, smells, and sights of the battlefield. It also has a moral point--World War I, like many other wars past and present, began with propaganda on all sides and ended up being a long and devastating struggle for everyone. I think readers of all ages will love this book. I did, and so did my 12-year-old cousin.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mindy Abraham on September 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I think that this book wonderfully captures the spirit of the 1914 truce, and the smaller mini-truces that lead up to it. I think the fact that in some spots they were so reluctant to fight showed that WWI, more than WWII was aboout politics and pride, with no real urgency to do so. This also gives a wonderful but brief history of the events leading up to the war, including the fact that on both sides they were told that the other side were monsters, and were suprised to find that they weren't the monsters they were told about. I think the epilogue is nice, there is nothing wrong with speculating on the what-if's, i've wondered what would have happend if the truce had held. A wonderful story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
If your history classes in school were anything like mine, then this is how a typical year would go: Lots of Revolutionary War, lots of Civil War, oh no it's almost the end of the year so let's just skip to WWII, and finally a brief smattering of Vietnam. WWI got the short end of the stick year after year after year when I was growing up. In fact, by the time I graduated from high school I associated only a couple vague images with it: mustard gas, red poppies, and "All Quiet On The Western Front". Now mine was a particularly silly education, but I worry about kids today. Surely I'm not the only person who went through this. So what do you hand a ten-year-old who wants a really good book on WWI, and also wants it to explain how it happened? There are full-fledged adults operating in the world right now that haven't a clue about who or what Franz Ferdinand was (aside from a contemporary band). I guess what I love so much about Jim Murphy's "Truce" is that it not only talks about the famous and spontaneous truce between two opposing sides that happened around Christmas Day in 1914, but the author also takes the time to put the whole war into context without wasting so much as a word. This can only be described as senselessness synthesized.

It was considered a bit of a Christmas miracle at the time. A sprawling war, two sides taught to hate one another, and then . . . peace. Apropos of nothing, troops put down their weapons and met in No Man's Land to exchange gifts, sing songs, and play games. But how did it happen? To understand that is to understand WWI within context. Its causes, key players, and ultimately how it ended.
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