Book Review: 1914 Riding Into War, by Susan Brocker

This book is available now from bookstores nationwide. cv_1914_riding_into_war

Scholastic New Zealand have developed a series of books called ‘Kiwis At War’ to commemorate the First World War. This is the first in the series and presents the story of Billy, an underage teenage soldier, and the journey he makes with his beloved horse, Tui, to the other side of the world. As part of the mounted rifles regiment, Billy and his best friend Jack are excited to be embarking on this adventure.

Of course, what they encounter is far worse and more challenging than anything they could have imagined. Abandoning their horses in Egypt, the boys head into the Gallipoli war zone with hundreds of other New Zealand and Australian young men.

The ANZAC story will appeal to many, and it’s a great way to teach the history of this time to young New Zealand and Australian readers. But this book is also a story of friendship, fear, survival, and loss. It’s a compelling and emotional story set in a period of history that has touched many lives. I particularly liked the focus on the relationship between the boys and their horses. All too often, when we think of war we forget about the wider picture: the hundreds of horses that perished; the families at home waiting to hear of news of their loved ones; and the smells and sounds of war.

This is a great story and many young kiwis will enjoy reading it.

Reviewed by Gillian Torckler

1914: Riding into War
by Susan Brocker
Published by Scholastic NZ
ISBN  9781775432067

3 thoughts on “Book Review: 1914 Riding Into War, by Susan Brocker

  1. My daughter is enjoying reading this book and comes and talks to me about it. She came to me regarding that the year of 2014 was printed in it instead of 1914 and she thought it was funny.

  2. Pingback: Kiwis at War — 1914: Riding into War, Susan Brocker

  3. Pingback: Book Review: 1918 Broken Poppies, by Des Hunt |

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