I just adore these Horrible Histories books. I have been reading them on and off for years. I know I even bought them when I was younger (though in Dutch as back then my English was pretty terrible and basic). These days I just re-read them, as sadly they don’t make them any more. 🙁
While the cover for this one put me off, my edition has some terrible CBBC series cover on it that would make anyone run away from this book. But no me, as I know what is inside these books. Though believe me, I was still worried there may be more terrible photographs inside (thankfully, no).
This one was familiar to me, so I am guessing I probably read it in either Dutch or English a long time ago. It was still very interesting to read as many aspects of the WWII pass by. A lot of books about WWII specifically talk about one part of it, but this one picks up many (if not all). From the Holocaust and what happened to the Jews (and also others who didn’t fit the right image) to Britain and Dad’s (Barmy) Army to Dutch East Indies to Japan to Rusland. From The Resistance to Hitler to Axis/Allies to people from various cities. I really love how they managed to stuff so much in such a small book. Then again, that is one thing I love about HH (and also the other series). You learn much, but don’t have to dig through endless pages. These books give you the nitty gritty, the best bits (well, if you want to call war the best bits, but I guess you guys know what I mean), it is all very compact, and I just love that.
There is also a dash of humour, which may seem very tasteless given the topic, but it was very tastefully done. Just like all the other HH books. They treat the topic with respect but also try to add funny bits to make it less dry. With comics, with funny bits that most books wouldn’t add to their pages, with jokes, with fun quizzes, with puns. The illustrations also help a lot. Martin Brown’s illustrations are just perfect.
I just adore that we have quizzes in this book, though I don’t always participate in them these days. I used to try to solve them, but these days I just skip to the answers. 😛 I know, terrible of me, but I just can’t resist. And in my defence, I already read these books, so I already did the quizzes the right way at least once.
All in all, if you want to know more about WWII and love a dash of humour, try out this book (and the rest).