WAR: STORIES OF CONFLICT, ed. Michael Morpurgo, Macmillan, 277 pages, hardback, $29.95.
To mark the 60th anniversary of the end of World War 2, Michael Morpurgo, the third Children’s Laureate, has commissioned 14 other top children’s authors to write short stories about war and its effects. The resulting anthology, War: Stories of Conflict covers a vast range of time and human experience, from the Crusades to the Iraq War but concentrates firmly on the cost of such conflict, especially for young people. While most authors are British, two New Zealanders are represented. Margaret Mahy describes the Fall of Singapore striking into a Northland classroom, while Elizabeth Laird creates a timeless moment of understanding in the Palestinian conflict. This is a moving and rewarding anthology.
This review was first published in The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand on 21st January 2006.