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  • Franklin Watts
  • Franklin Watts

Dear Jelly: Family Letters from the First World War

Sarah Ridley

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c 1914 to c 1918 (including WW1), For National Curriculum Key Stage 2, For National Curriculum Key Stage 3, Interest age: from c 10 years, Prose: non-fiction, History & the past: general interest (Children's /

The story of two brothers who fought in the First World War through letters they sent to their sisters.

Like so many families across the world, the Semple family were split apart by the First World War. While William and Robert were fighting the Germans in France, their younger sisters, Mabel and Jelly (Eileen), had to carry on with school back in England. To keep in touch, they wrote letters. The sisters treasured these letters, which gave snapshots of their brothers' lives as soldiers. Many of the letters included cartoon illustrations to amuse the sisters.

The book presents these letters with their illustrations. After each letter the author has written a short commentary, drawing out the facts about the war that can be taken from it.

Altogether the book is a powerful and moving record of one family's experience of the First World War.

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Sarah Ridley

Sarah Ridley has an enduring interest in history, the natural world and many other topics which has made her work as an editor and writer of children's information books endlessly fascinating. Some of her books have been shortlisted or longlisted for information book awards, including Dear Jelly Family Letters from the First World War and Suffragettes and the Fight for the Vote. Sarah lives in Colchester with her husband and her student daughter's guinea pigs.

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