- Age Range: 8 - 11 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 6
- Lexile Measure: 530L (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers; 1 edition (July 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0884482677
- ISBN-13: 978-0884482673
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Playing War Hardcover – July 1, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5–It's too hot for basketball, so Luke and his friends decide to play war. As the sides separate to prepare for battle, newcomer Sameer is reluctant to play and leaves the game. The following day, he explains that he was in a real war before he moved to the United States. His house was blown up and his family was killed. The children, saddened by his story, go back to basketball. Beckwith's mission–to show children that war is bad and hurts people–overpowers the story. The strength here is Lyon's watercolor illustrations in summer greens, golden yellows, and coppery browns that evoke the heat of warm days spent with friends. A supplemental purchase.–Rebecca Sheridan, Easttown Library & Information Center, Berwyn, PA
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“ No elementary classroom should be without this book!”
- Children’s Literature
“...Here's a timely look at war in a thoughtful format accessible to youngsters.”
- Yellow Brick Road Newsletter
“... good conversation starter for parents who want to talk about war and violence with their children.”
- New Pages Children and Young Adult Book Reviews
“In these times, when violence and war are constantly in the news, children need our help sorting out the fantasy of war play from the painful realities of war. By bringing up the impact of war on one child, who gets upset when his friends engage in war play, and showing us his friends' caring responses, 'Playing War' does what no other children's book before it has done. It provides the forum adults and children need to feel safe talking about the real human impact of war.”
- Diane Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Education and author of Teaching Young Children in Violent Times and The War Play Dilemma
“...excellent book ...start a discussion...about the Peace Testimony...illustrations are lovely and support the story beautifully.”
- Friends Journal
Top customer reviews
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Reminds me of Bang Bang You're Dead by Louise Fitzhugh
I was reminded of my old pastime when I read Playing War, written by Kathy Beckwith and illustrated by Lea Lyon. It's summer and the children in the book are bored with playing basketball, lobbing water balloons and riding bikes. They decide to play war and divide into soldiers and enemies, then collect pinecones and sticks to use for ammunition.
But their game changes when one of the friends, Sameer, talks about the real war that kids find in his homeland, and how it affects their lives. Playing War is a picture book intended for elementary school readers. It exposes young readers to current events in an age-appropriate way, and it provides an entrée to talk about some of the issues going on in many parts of the world where children are enlisted as soldiers, or their families are affected by fighting. Playing War is a good read-aloud book appropriate for younger girls in mother-daughter book clubs.
The next day, Luke suggests playing war again, and wishes he could be in a real war. Sameer reveals that, in his home country, he lived in the middle of a war, during which a bomb destroyed his house and killed his parents and brother. The friends are shocked at Sameer's story of the tragedy of war. Luke decides that they ought to play basketball instead.
This picture book reveals the horrors of war in a gentle, sympathetic way. It would be a good book to get elementary-school kids talking about issues of war and peace.
I have included this book in my online Gender Equality Bookstore.