Shot at Dawn by John Wilson
World War I

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The author nails the essence of a tempestuous period. The writing is immaculate in the way it describes the monstrosities that soldiers must experience.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

Sentenced to death for abandoning his unit, a soldier recounts the events leading up to his arrest.

The reality of trench warfare is a shock to Allan McBride. Like many other young soldiers, he enthusiastically signed up for the chance to join the war effort and be a part of the fighting. But after months in the ravaged battlefields, watching men, including his friend Ken, get blown up by German shelling, something in Allan snaps and he leaves his unit, believing he is "walking home to Canada" to get help for his friend.

After nearly a week of wandering aimlessly, Allan is taken in by a band of real deserters - men who have abandoned their units and live on the edge of survival in the woods of northern France. Once Allan realizes what he's done, he is paralyzed by the reality of his circumstance: if he stays with these men, it's possible they will be found and have to face the consequences; and if he returns to his unit, he will be charged with desertion - a charge punishable by death.

In this outstanding new title in the I Am Canada series, acclaimed author John Wilson explores life in the horrific trenches of WWI and the effect of battle on a shell-shocked soldier.

 

About John Wilson

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John Wilson has almost two dozen books to his credit, including the Governor General's Award-nominated The Alchemist's Dream. In addition to writing, John is an energetic presenter who spends a lot of time travelling, telling stories about his books and engaging young readers in historical fiction. He lives in Lantzville, British Columbia.
 
Published February 9, 2011 by Scholastic Canada. 201 pages
Genres: Children's Books.
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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Ned Kelly on Mar 18 2011

The author nails the essence of a tempestuous period. The writing is immaculate in the way it describes the monstrosities that soldiers must experience.

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