Horrible Histories Woeful Second World War Book Review

Horrible Histories Woeful Second World War Book

How did people really behave in the Second World War? Find out all the foul facts by reading Horrible Histories Woeful Second World War.

Why and How Did We Go to War?

The Second World War is quite recent history for us compared to some of the eras covered by the Horrible Histories team but as usual they have written how people really lived, worked and acted during WWII leaving out none of the nastier bits we would probably rather forget. The book explains to us why the Second World War started and the events that led up to its beginning along with an excellent timeline that concentrates the main dates and events at a glance.

Unlike previous wars that were fought mainly on foreign soil Britain experienced its first domestic bombings of the population at large and we all agreed that it must have been very frightening indeed! There’s a great section on The Home Guard or Dad’s Army as its more commonly known. We always thought that the comedy show depiction of Dad’s Army was most likely grossly exaggerated but it seems like much of it was likely to be true. For instance, why would you lock a person up in a cupboard just because they wore a small moustache like Hitler or take the Home Guard soldier who shot his wife by mistake because he forgot he had bullets in his gun!

The kids didn’t realise that people HAD to join the army. They thought you went if you wanted to. It’s been a real learning curve for them reading this book. They were shocked when reading about the Hitler Youth and about what the Nazi vision of how they wanted the world to be was. The kids couldn’t believe that the Nazis wanted everyone to be blonde! As a dark-haired family, it’s a chilling thought!

The Holocaust

As parents, we especially liked the way that Horrible Histories dealt with the subject of The Holocaust. It’s a difficult subject to tackle and there was none of the usual Horrible Histories humour attached to this section thank goodness, except for the piece about concentration camp humour and how the prisoners would use humour to keep going. They don’t however dodge the awful details regarding what the Nazis did to the Jews and other minorities and our youngest who knew nothing about WW II was shocked!

Our Verdict

Horrible Histories Woeful Second World War is an informative read. It puts together grisly facts in such a way as to not disturb or distress its younger readers but includes a lot of detail that we thought our youngest (7) may find upsetting. In the end, he was OK taking it all in his stride which Horrible Histories recognise as a capability in children. There is a grizzly quiz at the end of the book that we tackled as a family together, while we wholly recommend this title as an educational read.