Author(s): Mark Wilson
A fifteen-year-old Australian farm boy lies about his age to enlist to war and is caught up in the horrors of World War I in Egypt and on the Western Front, where 5,500 Australian troops were lost in two days at Fromelles alone. This boy's story in this unique, stirring picture book is based on true stories of the 23 teenage soldiers - one only fourteen - who fought with the Australian army in World War I, as recorded at the Australian War Memorial (their names among a list of 60,000 Australian soldiers killed in that war). The author's grandfather was a boy soldier who, unlike the hero of the book, did survive to return home. Told in the boy's own simple language and with extracts from his letters home, the story is extremely moving and evocative of the real tragedy of that worst of all wars.
Highly acclaimed author/illustrator Mark Wilson s many picture books include The Penguin Shore (a CBCA Notable Book in 1996), The Castaways of the Charles Eaton, Yellow-eye (winner of the Wilderness Society Award in 2002), the Extinction Series: I Saw Nothing: the Extinction of the Thylacine (a CBCA Notable Book in 2004); I Said Nothing: the Extinction of the Paradise Parrot; and I Did Nothing: the Extinction of the Gastric Brooding Frog, and The Last Tree (2006). The Extinction Series also won a Wilderness Society Award and a Whitley Award in 2004, and The Last Tree won a Whitley Award in 2007. Mark lives in Frankston, Victoria.