You will be home before the leaves have fallen from the trees. So said Kaiser Wilhelm II to his German army in August 1914. But World War I would rage for more than 4 years, taking the lives of nearly 10 million soldiers. Some of the most unrelenting combat was waged along the infamous Western Front, where, for one unforgettable Christmas in 1914, enemies set guns aside and came together in friendship. And the Soldiers Sang, written by J. Patrick Lewis, recounts this unlikely truce through the perspective of a young soldier named Owen Davies, who travels from the green country of Wales to the muddy battlefields of Belgium.
This picture book for middle-grade readers offers a fictionalized account of the 1914 Christmas Truce of World War I. A Welsh soldier relates how British and German troops facing each other in trenches of the Western Front ceased their fighting on Christmas Day to engage in songs and friendly games. Kelley's dark, somber pastel illustrations add intensity to this moving story.