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Leaving for the Front 'moving' - reviewer

Michelle O'Connell's 'Leaving for the Front: A Boy’s Story' has been described by leading children's book reviewer Bob Docherty as ideal for study and at times moving. 


Bob Docherty was judge convenor of the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and is known for his work promoting reading into schools. 


Bob Docherty's book review can be read in full in the link below.  A transcript is provided.


His review starts by outlining the story of Michelle O'Connell's book: 


In Masterton in 2014 One hundred secondary school boys dressed in military uniforms of the First World War, renacted the men of the town going to war in 1914.


The parade was watched by townsfolk dressed in the attire of the day and among the spectators was the author of this picture book and her son.


The author noted how her son was moved by the event and this picture book captures that feeling.


The written text is short and concise “We are going to dress up for a parade today”


The young boy tells the story. We have a photo showing the original parade, the War Poster with Wairarapa Needs You, ANZAC biscuits, the old villa and car from 1914, the train journey, the crosses on the hillside and the farewell.


The illustrations are in sepia tones and pencil drawings and capture the old world well.


Ideal for study of World War One and it’s historical times. It is very moving too.

Buy this book

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE? You can buy this book via your local book shop or make a purchase safely online from BMS Books.


Book buyers can now also access the short film associated with this novel using a promotional code.

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