Publication Date: 01-02-2014
Format: Pb, 245mm x 180mm x 10mm
Extent: 96 pages
A remarkable find in a rubbish heap...
"We need the voice of a witness to tell the adulterated truth. We have it in this remarkable book." Michael Morpurgo
One winter's morning, Barroux was walking down a street in Paris when he made an incredible discovery: the diary of a soldier in the First World War.
Barroux rescued the diary from a rubbish heap and illustrated the soldier’s words. We have no idea who the soldier is or what became of him. We just have his words; and in his own words and Barroux's extraordinary pictures, this is his story.
In this striking graphic novel adaptation of a 100-year-old diary, the events of the first two months of WWI are told through the eyes of the unknown soldier. This is living history in the form of one man's story silhouetted against the historical events of 1914 that formed and transformed the world we live in today.
In the words of Michael Morpurgo, who has written a special introduction to the book, this is ‘a witness statement, the untrammelled, unedited voice of someone who was there.’
Visit the Line of Fire microsite for news, events and teaching resources (launching on February 1st 2014) www.lineoffirebook.com
What do we know about our soldier?
The diary begins in August 1914 with the outbreak of WWI and the last entry is 13th September, 1914. We don't know what happened to our solder. The diary was discovered with a medal and the song lyrics at the back of the diary continue until 1917. The soldier's name has long faded from the cover of the diary and there is no name inside the diary.
We do know that our soldier was an infantryman. We know he wasn't a new soldier. We know he had a wife. We know he narrowly escaped death on 28th August, 1914. We know there are other clues in the diary such as his locations and his descriptions of events.
This book should be (and will be) in every school library.
Lana Boztas, Teaching English (The Professional Journal of NATE)
Amongst the many commemorations of The Great War this year, and several through comics and graphic novels, Line of Fire truly stands out as a remarkable piece.
Line of Fire is one of the most extraordinary - and beautiful - books about the First World War. This diary of an unknown French soldier tells of his experiences in the very early days of the fighting at the Front. Told as a matter-of-fact catalogue of events, it records the strange journey from normal civilian life into the life of a solder with all the hardship that brings. While there is no wallowing in all the unpleasantness that he sees, its impact is strongly felt. Through Barroux’s wonderful illustrations readers emphasise absolutely with the soldier’s experience.
Julia Eccleshare, LoveReading
A timely and very different read about the hell of war, suitable for primary up.
Kitty Empire, Observer
'Children's Book of the Week' in the Sunday Times, Sunday 23rd February 2014
A remarkable artifact, given haunting new life.
An unusually personal view of World War I’s early days.
An unforgettable reading experience for readers of all ages.
A truly remarkable graphic novel... Line of Fire is a brilliant and devastating account of one man’s part in the war, all the more poignant because it is told in his own words... It is a book for all.
The Illustrated Forest
The School Run
An excellent all-ages memorial.
About the Illustrator and Translator
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