Barrington Stoke marks centenary of WW1 in print and online

April 2014 sees Barrington Stoke launch Reading War, a website dedicated to literacy and World War One. The site is published to coincide with the release of Tom Palmer’s Over the Line and also focuses on Linda Newbery’s Tilly’s Promise, published January 2014.

“At Barrington Stoke, we are all about expanding new readers’ horizons with powerful fiction,” says MD Mairi Kidd. “Over the Line is a hugely important title for us both because it marks the centenary of the First World War and because it approaches the conflict through the lens of football – and we know that many young people who are reluctant to read find sport an enticing hook. We’re delighted also to launch Reading War, a site packed with materials for schools and families to use to explore the War and the themes of Over the Line and Tilly’s Promise in more depth.”

Over the Line is a powerful first-person narrative of one young footballer’s experiences of World War One. Jack Cock scored England’s first international goal after the end of the war, and he did it as a veteran of the trenches. One of the first generation of pro footballers, Jack enlisted in the Footballer’s Battalion and went on to play in the Flanders Cup. But his footballing duties spared him nothing of the horror of the trenches, and he saw many of his teammates fall.

Tremendous black-and-white illustrations by Ollie Cuthbertson march along the bottom of every page.

“We are immensely proud to publish Over the Line,” says Editor Emma Baker. “It is a marvelous tribute to the game of football and to a heroic young man. We also believe it is a breakthrough for Tom Palmer as a writer, into a different league.”

Reading War is packed with rich content relating to the themes of Over the Line and Tilly’s Promise. Video content includes Tom Palmer visiting all significant sites from Over the Line and Linda Newbery discussing white feathers and other means used to recruit men – and on occasion boys – to the army. There are activities linked to the videos, teachers’ guides and stories, diaries and other reading materials created specially for the site. Tom Palmer will be blogging regularly on WWI in the media and ways to use this material to develop literacy in the classroom.

• football in 1914–1918
• pals’ battalions
• the home front
• medicine and nurses
• forgotten victims

See www.readingwar.co.uk for more.

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