Sunday, November 19, 2006

Cowards - Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick's Cowards is subtitled, "The True Story of the Men Who Refused to Fight". It's the story of Howard Marten and Alfred Evans, just two of the several hundred young men who refused to join the army during World War 1. They, together with fifteen other Conscientious Objectors are sent to the Front Line in France, having been conscripted into the Army once the Military Service Act was passed in 1916. They were told that they would have to obey their military orders or face the firing squad, but each one refused, over and over again, to go against their principles.

This is a brief, but very thought-provoking book. It's well written in a direct, simple style that clearly explains what the men believed and why they refused to fight. Adults will find it as interesting as children. I highly recommend the book to those who are looking for something to give to children who are wanting to discuss the rights and wrongs of armed conflict in any era and any arena. Cowards is also available from

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