Lord of the Nutcracker Men by Iain Lawrence
(Readers Circle)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



Ten-year-old Johnny eagerly plays at war with the army of nutcracker soldiers his toymaker father whittles for him. He demolishes imaginary foes. But in 1914 Germany looms as the real enemy of Europe, and all too soon Johnny’s father is swept up in the war to end all wars. He proudly enlists with his British countrymen to fight at the front in France. The war, though, is nothing like what any soldier or person at home expected.

The letters that arrive from Johnny’s dad reveal the ugly realities of combat — and the soldiers he carves and encloses begin to bear its scars. Still, Johnny adds these soldiers to his armies of Huns, Tommies, and Frenchmen, engaging them in furious fights. But when these games seem to foretell his dad’s real battles, Johnny thinks he possesses godlike powers over his wooden men. He fears he controls his father’s fate, the lives of all the soldiers in no-man’s land, and the outcome of the war itself.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Iain Lawrence

See more books from this Author
Iain Lawrence is the author of many acclaimed novels.
Published January 16, 2009 by Laurel Leaf. 234 pages
Genres: Travel, War, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lord of the Nutcracker Men

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Subplots involving Johnny’s vandalism of the rose garden of a respected teacher, and a deserter who is too ashamed to face his own father add further emotional weight and complexity to Johnny’s situation as the horrors of an adult world at war penetrate his childhood innocence.

| Read Full Review of Lord of the Nutcracker Men (R...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

As the weeks go by, Johnny entertains himself by staging vast battles with this army, until—in a series of scenes that unflinchingly convey a child's conflicting feelings of omnipotence and vulnerability—he grows to fear that his play is somehow magically affecting his father's life at the front ...

| Read Full Review of Lord of the Nutcracker Men (R...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

A boy watches his kindly toymaker father turn against the German shopkeepers and neighbors in the family's London community, then travel to France to fight in the Great War in what PW called, in a starred review, "a thoughtful and thought-provoking novel."

| Read Full Review of Lord of the Nutcracker Men (R...

Reader Rating for Lord of the Nutcracker Men

An aggregated and normalized score based on 28 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review