Over the course of WWI over nine million combatants and seven million civilians died. The war introduced the wide-spread use of trench warfare, barbed wire, chemical weapons, submarines, tanks, and airplanes. It also continued the use of animals in combat.
For the first three years of the war, the United States maintained a “non-intervention” policy. President Woodrow Wilson advocated US neutrality for most of the war. Then the German Foreign Minister, Zimmermann, invited Mexico to join in the war against the US in exchange for Germany helping Mexico recover Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. After German submarines sank seven US merchant ships, coupled with the “Zimmermann Telegram” becoming public knowledge, Wilson changed his mind and asked Congress to declare war.
Numerous books are suitable for middle-grade readers to learn about the far reaching impact of this “Great War,” as it was sometimes known. Here are my recommendations:
BOOKS THAT PRESENT AN OVERALL HISTORY OF WWI:
BOOKS THAT INTRODUCE NEW WARFARE TECHNOLOGY:
A BIOGRAPHY ABOUT AN AMERICA PRESIDENT WHO RESISTED WAR:
NOVELS ABOUT WORLD WAR I:
History unfortunately repeats itself. Perhaps if today’s students studied more thoroughly the ravages created by the great wars of our past, they can strive to create a better world when they take their place as adults.