by Jim Murphy

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On July 29th 1914, the world’s peace was shattered as the artillery of the Austria-Hungary Empire began shelling the troops of the country to its south. What followed was like a row of falling dominoes as one European country after another rushed into war. Soon most of Europe was fighting in this calamitous war that could have been avoided. This was, of course, the First World War. But who could have guessed that on December 25 the troops would openly defy their commanding officers by stopping the fighting and having a spontaneous celebration of Christmas with their "enemies"?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780545365277
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 04/26/2016
Sold by: Scholastic, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 1,056,925
File size: 61 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

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.

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Truce 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 I gave it to my 12-year-old cousin who loved it too.
cmcvittie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Jim Murphy's research and writing bring to life the beginnings of World War I, its causes, terrible miscalculations and what could have been an early end to the war. During the first few months of the Great War, fighting bogged down into trench warfare. Fighting cold and despair on both sides of the Front Line, German, English, French and Belgian soldiers called their own truce despite orders from senior officers at Christmas time. For some units, this truce lasted until nearly Easter of 1915. The historical illustrations and photographs coupled with a clear, narrative style and large text, make this an excellent introduction to the details of the beginning of World War I. While it is written for middle school age students, this would work well as an easy introduction for senior students as well.
Ella_Jill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a book for young adults, but sophisticated enough for any age, about various opposing military units in World War I which decided to stop fighting on Christmas Day in 1914, sang carols to each other across the trenches, and even went so far as climb out of the trenches, exchange food and souvenirs for each others¿ kids and even in some instances celebrate together. Needless to say, the military commanders were quite unhappy about this fraternizing with the enemy, had it stopped as soon as they could and made sure nothing like it happened next year. A few units apparently tried, but heavy losses suffered by both sides during the elapsed year, as much as the orders, made the efforts nowhere as widespread as the first year. The author also gives a wider picture of the war, such as pointing out that while new powerful weapons had just been invented, no adequate defenses had evolved to match them, which accounted for so many dead, in addition to weather conditions.
KarenBall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of the First World War, focusing on one amazing event: a Christmas truce where the soldiers themselves stopped fighting spontaneously, met in the middle of the battlefield, and exchanged gifts and sang carols together... while the military leaders were demanding that they fight and threatening them with court-martial if they disobeyed. This book is much more than the story of that truce, though. It explains how the war began, with details from the assassination of Austria's Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, to the plotting of Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm to push Austria's Emperor Franz Joseph into bombing Serbian troops on July 29, 1914. From that point on, the countries of Europe joined one side or the other, and all involved were convinced they could have a quick war and get things settled. But as Murphy shows us, they had access to far more powerful weapons than they had in previous wars, and their military tactics were designed for far less destructive weapons. By December, the troops had dug a network of trenches to protect themselves, and the war was at a standstill. Tired, hungry, and feeling that the leadership had failed them, the soldiers on both sides noticed that during quiet times, they could each hear the other side laughing, chatting and occasionally singing... and maybe they had more in common with each other than their governments would like them to think. The Christmas truces were the result of that. The photos and maps included are excellent, especially the ones from Christmas Day. No official military photographers were there, and the photos are from the troops themselves. 7th grade and up.
cvosshans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although the writing of this book is well done and the story touching, I only gave this 3 out of 5 because I found it difficult to wrap my head around the concept of being humane one day and then continuing warfare the next. The author packs a lot of information into the 115 pages of this narrative. The best part is the archival photos that support the historical events discussed in this book. Readers who like history, wartime tales and stories that touch the heart may like this book. It is suitable for upper elementary readers to adults - basically anyone who can grasp the seriousness of war and its affects. The drawings throughout the book also add to its appeal as does the strong lesson of acceptance.
shelf-employed on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"[I]f I had my way, some person in authority would proclaim that Christmas will not be celebrated this year....Enemy, Death, and a Christmas tree - they cannot live so close together." German Captain Rudolf Binding (from Truce)Jim Murphy's Truce, tells the remarkable true story of the spontaneous truces that broke out all along the entrenched battle lines of Europe in December, 1914. It is estimated that tens of thousands of British, German and Belgian soldiers took part in the cease-fires that lasted, in some instances, for several weeks. More than a cessation of hostilities, the hiatus was almost joyful as soldiers fraternized with each other - singing, exchanging gifts, and taking photos.In six chapters, Murphy provides ample background information to give meaning and context to the remarkable occurrence of the many spontaneous truces and celebrations. One chapter recounts enemy soldiers praying together, translating the sermon from English to German, and burying their dead in solemn ceremonies. In another instance, German and British soldiers sing Christmas carols, alternating verses, one in English, one in German, and then joining in Latin to sing Adeste Fideles. The truces ended, not because the men desired to resume fighting, but rather, because they could no longer hold out against the will of their commanders."The German High Command ... issued a terse order: "Commander Second Army directs that informal understandings with enemy are to cease. Officers ...allowing them are to be brought before a court-martial." In some areas, these orders had immediate results. British private Bernard Brookes was standing guard at midnight on December 25 when "our artillery sent over ... four shells of small caliber to let them know that the truce, at which the whole world would wonder, was ended, and it its place, Death and Bloodshed would once again reign supreme." The Germans countered with an artillery barrage of their own."The award-winning, Murphy, has meticulously researched his topic, and includes a Timeline, Notes and Sources, More about World War I, an Index, and a wealth of photographs, maps, period art and newspapers. The Epilogue, while factual, is more editorial than informational in nature.The text is large and sepia-toned, to match the many accompanying photographs. Photographs of the desolate and razor-wired No Man's Land and the hideous trench conditions offer a stark contrast to those of smiling enemy soldiers posing for posterity.To read this story in the men's' own words, is both compelling and thought-provoking. Readers will not come away unaffected. Best for ages 10 and up. Truce should be a Sibert Medal contender.
prkcs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Relates the background of trench warfare on the Western Front during World War I, the "Great War" and the factors which led to enlisted men on all sides declaring an armistice to celebrate "peace on earth" at Christmastime, 1914.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EllenJane More than 1 year ago
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?