Jim’s Letters by Glyn Harper, Illus. Jenny Cooper.
Letters at time of war were of extreme importance to soldiers at the Front and to those at home who worried at the fate of their sons, fathers and brothers. This exchange of letters does not end well but they do show a contrast of the picture painted at home and the realities of the soldier in the field. In war the first casualty is truth.
The story is told in letters between Thomas Duncan at home on the farm and his older brother Jim in Egypt and then Gallipolli. Jim’s letters are full of bravado as the young men train in Egypt and can’t wait to get into battle, then once at the Front there is a change. Finally there is the letter no-one wanted to receive.
Thomas’s return letters are about life on the farm and at home.
The illustrations are excellent. The front and back inside covers show a variety of stamps and permits from the army Censor and Egypt and the illustrations of home and in Egypt and battle are big and reflect what is happening and how participants are feeling.
Strong on emotion without resorting to the gruesome.’The returned stick in letter is a heart turner.
There will be many of these in the next two years and thankfully this is for young readers in primary and intermediate school.
These stories should never die.