Thursday, 30 April 2015

50 Things you should know about the Second World War by Professor Ian Beckett and Professor Richard Overy (QED Publishing)

50 Things you should know about the Second World War

Consultants: Professor Ian Beckett and Professor Richard Overy
Edited and Illustrated by The QED Team

Published by QED Publishing

QED's history range has always been fantastic, and with the latest "50 things" series, you can explore world events in more detail than ever before. We've previously enjoyed "50 things you should know about the First World War", one of the best children's non-fiction books about World War 1. Now we're moving on in history to an equally terrible conflict that caused a catastrophic loss of life, and affected the entire globe, raging on for 6 years before its terrible conclusion.

As with QED's previous book, "50 Things you should know about the Second World War" gathers together the people, the places and the events that led to the conflict and the rise of Hitler's Nazi party. We see how the German war machine was constructed, ignoring the Treaty of Versailles until the German Army, Air Force and Navy grew to become one of the largest armed forces in Europe.

When Germany invaded Poland, the stage for a terrible and bloody conflict was set as Poland's allies (Britain and France) were drawn into the war first against Germany, Russia and Italy, with the USA and Japan brought into the conflict later on and the rest of the world soon to follow.

The book is laid out with a series of illustrated spreads, pouring on fact after fact, statistic after statistic - written in conjunction with advisers and history experts to ensure that children can quickly trace the war's timeline from beginning to end, and easily identify the key historical figures on both Axis and Allied sides.

Key battles and events are broken down in detail, and the figures make for some grisly reading at times as you realise what a terrible price both sides paid in the loss of military and civilian life.

The technology of war is examined in detail too, from tanks to warplanes to ships - again presented with a ton of statistics and facts to demonstrate how each side entered a terrible arms race, one that continued well after the war ended and nations who fought side by side were ultimately divided by political differences.

It's another winner from QED absolutely crammed to capacity with a ton of facts and figures for children to pore over, treated with a sensitive eye on the intended audience.

"50 Things you should know about the Second World War" is published by QED on May 1st 2015.

Charlotte's best bit: As with the First World War book, really interested in the historical figures who were instrumental in the conflict.

Daddy's Favourite bit: As thoroughly absorbing, terrifying and authoritative as QED's "First World War" book. Brilliantly presented and illustrated, again a really impressive title.

(Kindly sent to us for review by QED Publishing)

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50 Things you should know about the First World War (QED Publishing)