A Soldier's Sketchbook
The Illustrated First World War Diary of R.H. Rabjohn
Juvenile: Age (years) from 10, Grade (US) from 5
JUVENILE NONFICTION / History / Military & Wars
Mar 07, 2017
9.38 x 8.28 x 0.58 in
B&W SKETCHES THROUGHOUT
- Author Bio
A unique First World War diary, illustrated with more than a hundred stunning pencil sketches, for children learning history and also for adults interested in a new perspective on the War and authentic wartime artefacts.
Russell Rabjohn was just eighteen years old when he joined up to fight in the First World War. In his three years of soldiering, he experienced the highs and lows of army life, from a carefree leave in Paris to the anguish of seeing friends die around him. Like many soldiers, he defied army regulations and recorded everything he saw and felt in a small pocket diary.
Private Rabjohn was a trained artist, and as such he was assigned to draw dugouts, map newly captured trenches and sketch the graves of his fallen comrades. This allowed him to carry an artist’s sketchbook on the battlefield—a freedom he put to good use, drawing everything he saw. Here, in vivid detail, are images of the captured pilot of a downed German biplane; the horrific Flanders mud; a German observation balloon exploding in midair; and the jubilant mood in the streets of Belgium when the Armistice is finally signed. With no surviving veterans of the First World War, Rabjohn’s drawings are an unmatched visual record of a lost time.
Award-winning author John Wilson brings his skills as a historian and researcher to bear, carefully curating the diary to provide context and tell the story of Private Rabjohn’s war. He has selected each of the diary entries and the accompanying images, and has provided the background that modern-day readers need to understand what a young soldier went through a century ago. The result is a wonderfully detailed and dramatic account of the war as seen through an artist’s eyes.
WWI ANNIVERSARY: A Soldier’s Sketchbook is being published to coincide with the hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge (April 9 to 12, 1917).
UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE: No other published Canadian First World War diary draws on the same rich combination of words and images to vividly portray this tragic time in our history.
CROSSOVER APPEAL: This is a book for anyone—young or old—with an interest in the First World War and Canadian history.
AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR: John Wilson has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Text, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, and the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction, among numerous other awards.
Publicity: F&Gs for sales kits
School & library advertising
Featured title at major conferences: OLA and RFTLOI, ALA and BEA
National feature and review attention
LibraryThing Early Reviewers giveaways
Pitch for Canada 150 features
Author Website: johnwilsonauthor.com
PRAISE FOR Wings of War:
“Wilson writes eloquently about one boy’s love of flight and his dream of flying…. Thoroughly engaging.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Teen fiction rarely gets so involved with notions of morality in war. A thoughtful, provocative work.”—Booklist
PRAISE FOR Dark Terror:
“A fascinating war tale that will have young readers digging in for a captivating read.” --Kirkus Reviews
“A fast-moving, gripping take on a little-explored side of the war effort.”—National Reading Campaign