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Children's Nonfiction Europe

The War to End All Wars

The Story of World War I

by (author) Jack Batten

Initial publish date
Oct 2009
Europe, New Experience, Military & Wars
Recommended Age
10 to 18
Recommended Grade
5 to 12
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2009
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


A brilliant, concise history of The War to End All Wars.

In the decade leading up to 1914, Europe had never known such prosperity. But the times were not good enough for the continent’s most powerful nations: Germany wanted a navy that matched England’s; Russia wanted an army as large and as disciplined as Germany’s; the Austro-Hungarian Empire wanted more respect; and England felt compelled to teach the others about civilized relations. How terrible could a war be?

In this riveting account of a tragic episode in world history, author Jack Batten takes readers through a far bloodier conflict than mankind had ever before endured. Meet the soldiers who fought the deadly battles along the Western Front. Follow the trail of flying ace Billy Bishop as he tangles in the air with the Red Baron. Learn the strategy of Britain’s Grand Fleet of warships as it heads into the biggest sea battle in history. Discover how civilians decoded virtually all the messages the Germans sent to their ships around the world.

From the Battle of the Somme, Gallipoli, Passchendale, and Vimy Ridge to the war’s final battles, The War to End All Wars evokes the heroism and suffering of men from every country, whose stories changed the face of the world forever. With maps, index, and selected bibliography.

About the author

Jack Batten practised law in Toronto for four years before turning to a life of writing. He has written for all the major Canadian magazines and is the author of thirty-three books including four crime novels. Five of his nonfiction books dealt with real-life Canadian lawyers, judges, and court cases; a biography of John Robinette was among these books. Batten's books have also dealt with sports, Canadian history, and biography. He has reviewed jazz for The Globe and Mail, movies for CBC radio, and still writes a column on crime fiction for the Toronto Star. His biography of Tom Longboat won the $10,000 Norma Fleck Award for best children's nonfiction in 2002, and the book is being made into a feature film. His most recent book is The Annex: The Story of a Toronto Neighbourhood, published in 2004.

Jack Batten's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone:
“…fast-paced, deeply researched and fresh…vividly readable… brilliantly done!”
Norma Fleck Jury

Praise for Silent in an Evil Time: The Brave War of Edith Cavell:
“Jack Batten has written an interesting and thought-provoking biography of this remarkable and courageous woman...Highly Recommended.”
CM Magazine

Librarian Reviews

The War to End All Wars: The Story of World War I

Jack Batten has taken on a broad and ambitious subject in his latest book, TheWar to End All Wars: The Story of World War I. Few topics are as broad and monumental as this one, but Batten has produced a highly readable and informative book.

To manage this, Batten has focused his attention exclusively on matters military. You won’t find the homefront in this book. But The War to End All Wars does a fine job of telling this military story from 1914-1918. It covers major ground, air and sea offensives on both the Western and Eastern Fronts. In fact, that is one of the book’s great strengths: While many books about the First World War in this country focus on the experience of Canadians, Batten has deliberately cast his eye on the epic battles (Somme, Jutland, Gallipoli, Tannenberg) rather than Canada’s role.

Canada is present – Vimy Ridge, Arthur Currie and Billy Bishop all takes turns on centre stage – but this is a book about the First World War, not Canada and the First World War.

Batten has done an excellent job of writing clear and simple prose, so students in Grades 7 to 10 will find it accessible, even if they are sent to their dictionaries for words such “hypocrisy” or “Bolsheviks.”

They may also need some maps as the book’s only ones are on the inside of the dustjacket, an unfortunate oversight for a resource aimed at those who need maps most. On the other hand, there is an excellent index and bibliography to help in the research process.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2010. Vol.33 No.2.

Other titles by Jack Batten