Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: John Hamilton
Publisher: Abdo Publishing
Events Leading to World War I is an organized introduction to World War I especially tailored to the needs of young readers with little to no background knowledge on the topic. This thin, hardback picture book has a textured cover with black-and-white images from the beginning of the war, allowing the reader at first glance to begin investigating the time period and events that the book goes on to detail. The glossy pages inside have a nearly equal balance between visuals and text, including photographs, artist’s renderings, and informational graphics all with poignant, focused captions. The book provides an overview of the idea of alliances, and then goes on to detail each major country involved in the war and summarizes the intentions and key leadership of each. Additional features in the text include a condensed timeline and glossary of terms in the back of the book.
This book is thoughtfully organized for accessibility of information and would be an excellent recommendation as a first introduction to World War I. Readers in the upper-elementary school age range especially will find the text has an accessible vocabulary while still meeting their needs in delivering detailed information. Readers should note, however, that this book only explains the reasons why the war began and how each country became involved. It does not go on to explain how World War I ended. That said, the back cover lists five other books authored to accompany this one that will further detail the weapons and warfare involved if curious readers are interested in learning more.
*Contains mild violence.