Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Christmas in the Trenches” as Want to Read:
Christmas in the Trenches
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Christmas in the Trenches

by
4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  92 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Set in the trenches during World War I, this haunting story is based on a true event known as the Christmas Truce and is adapted by award-winning songwriter John McCutcheon. Full color. With CD
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Peachtree Publishers
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Christmas in the Trenches, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Christmas in the Trenches

Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin HenkesMike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee BurtonOfficer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy RathmannWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Primary Storytime
24th out of 159 books — 19 voters
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankNumber the Stars by Lois LowryJohnny Tremain by Esther ForbesThe Book Thief by Markus ZusakChains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Best Children's Books Involving War
23rd out of 101 books — 32 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 193)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Jess
Dec 19, 2010 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jess by: Mom
Based a true story, travel back to Christmas in the Trenches during the first World War.


I really like this one, but it's sad. Definitely sad. It isn't how it's presented, the author does nothing to depress you. It's set up as a memory that begins and ends on Chrismas Eve. You're at a grandpa's house, see his favorite Christmas memory (in the trenches), and then you're back in his home 70 years later.


But the more you think about it, the more you realize that it's a story about kids who had Chri
...more
Vera Godley
Artist Henri Sorensen has beautifully illustrated Christmas in the Trenches with the drab colors that depict the drabness of war - though the colors are subdued "Christmas" red and green - as well as the bright cheeriness of the home of young Thomas. Beautiful art to bring to our heart the beauty of the story.

Christmas in the Trenches begins with an elderly gentleman telling his grandson, Thomas, the unbelievable story of the enduring Christmas Spirit that brought two opposing armies into "no-ma
...more
Eloise Davis
It was Christmas night, all of the presents were unwrapped, the snow covered the ground, and Thomas and Nora were curled up on their Grandpa’s lap. The story begins with Thomas asking his Grandpa if he has a favorite Christmas. Grandpa begins telling his grandchildren about his favorite Christmas in Liverpool, 1914, during the Great War. The children are shocked to discover that their sweet Grandpa was in the war and they express their curiosity. As the two children snuggle closer to their Grand ...more
Carly
Summary:
It was Christmas night, all of the presents were unwrapped, the snow covered the ground, and Thomas and Nora were curled up on their Grandpa’s lap. The story begins with Thomas asking his Grandpa if he has a favorite Christmas. Grandpa begins telling his grandchildren about his favorite Christmas in Liverpool, 1914, during the Great War. The children are shocked to discover that their sweet Grandpa was in the war and they express their curiosity. As the two children snuggle closer to th
...more
Maris Digiovanni
This book definitely celebrates the common bonds in humanity. It describes a time in history when hatred and death lingered over most people’s lives and war was lasting longer than most people realized. This story tells of how during this horrible time the soldiers fighting each other stopped the fighting in order to celebrate Christmas with one another. I feel that this story is so touching because it conveys a lesson about being humane in a most inhumane situation and shows that bravery someti ...more
Rebecca Honeycutt
Nothing special as a picture book, but the song is one of my favorites, so I felt obliged to read it.
Jen
Nov 01, 2014 Jen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
An excellent version of the "Silent Night" in December 1914 when German and Allied soldiers called a truce on Christmas Eve and ventured onto No-Man's-Land to sing songs, play football, and acknowledge each other's humanity. Told in a very appropriate manner for all ages, this story stresses the peace of that night, although it can open the door for further discussion of the horrific realization that these men went back to shooting at one another shortly thereafter. A favourite readaloud of mine ...more
(NS) - Heather Hayman
After Christmas dinner, Grandpa tells Thomas and Nora about an unforgettable Christmas Eve back in 1914, when German and Allied soldiers during World War I stopped fighting and came together to embrace the holiday. They sang songs, exchanged gifts, and acted in peace until dawn broke. At that time, they returned to their trenches where the battling began once again. The illustrations only add to this brief story about the common feelings that lay deep within the men on opposite sides of the line ...more
Amy
I expected more from this book. I have heard of the Christmas Truce of 1914 before and have always been touched by the story. For some reason, this book failed to capture the beauty of it to me. I can't decide if it was the author's choice of words or the pace of the narrative, but I would love to find a better account of the story, where German and British soldiers join in singing "Silent Night" on Christmas Eve and find a temporary brotherhood in the midst of war.
Morgan
I love this beautiful piece of historical fiction wrapped up in a children's book. This moment in World War 1 was so incredibly powerful, and would be so great to read when teaching World War 1, or just during Christmas time in general. This event in history really humanizes the war, and teaches empathy to readers. The illustrations capture the event perfectly, and I just think it will so valuable in not only teaching about history but also about character building.
Robert
John McCutcheon wrote and has performed the folk song that gave rise to this children's picture book that speaks to the power of the human spirit. What does it take to stop a war, if only for a few hours? The answer, memory, friendship, love. Lessons that are worth learning. This will awaken the mind of the child to the possibilities of peace. Henri Sorensen's painting go beyond the text and tell an amazing story of the true events of Christmas 1914.
Stacey
This is a five star because it made me cry and it led to some really great, but hard, discussion about war and why people go to war. I think I am largely a pacifist. I appreciated in the author's notes his encouragment to teach our children more peace making and conflict resolution. He pointed out how kids are taught about war from an early age, but there are too many peaceful alternatives to ignore.

Mrs. Downs
GR Level: NA

Elementary: E MCC

Grandkids ask grandpa about his favorite Christmas, and grandpa begins to tell them about when he was serving in the world war at Christmas. He shares the sweet miracle that occurred that day when the American and German soldiers gather together to sing Silent Night and play games.
Erica
Grandkids ask grandpa about his favorite Christmas, and grandpa begins to tell them about when he was serving in the world war at Christmas. He shares the sweet miracle that occurred that day when the American and German soldiers gather together to sing Silent Night and play games.
Carla Miller
Sad story but the children enjoyed it. Definitely a good one for our Advent reading collection. It started a lively discussion about the war and what it would be like during wartime.
Susan
Picture book for upper elementary and older students about the Christmas during World War I when German and American troops laid down arms and observed Christmas together. Very powerful occurrenced and terrific picture book to use with classes. Illustrations are beautiful.
Sally
I always love a true story, but this one always pricks my heart. While it shows that humanity can prevail, it only last a little while and war continues. Not really the happy ending you want in a Christmas story, but it does show the meaning of Christmas in a way.
Rebecca
This is a fictional account of one soldier's experience of Christmas 1914 on the western front. Includes lovely paintings, author's note and historical note, and the words, music, and recording of a song by John McCutcheon on the topic.
Rebecca
A fictionalized version of the 1914 Christmas Truce during WW1. The story is sweet and a good springboard for learning more about the Truce. The book comes with a CD of a folk song about the event which is also good.
Kerri
This is a beautiful story about putting aside the ways of war to celebrate Christmas. It would spark lots of writing ideas at Christmas time, but it is also a great way to discuss tolerance and acceptance.
Sally
Sep 23, 2009 Sally rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sally by: Chinaberry
A beautifully illustrated book about the truce of Christmas 1914 in No Man's Land. This particular edition comes with a CD which includes the story read by the author and two songs.
Carol
Good depth for a picture book--good to accompany any war book or holiday book or just on its own for the striking illustrations and poignant narrative.
Heather
Includes CD of the song. Beautiful illustrations. (Story of the WWI Christmas truce between English and German Soldiers).
Cynthia
My boys really loved this simple and sweet Christmas story of soldiers finding common ground on Christmas Eve.
Tracy
In our Christmas book collection. New 2009. Read with Ryan 2009.
Kristi
Comes with a CD with the song!
Megan D. Neal
A very heart-warming story.
Kim Banks
Kim Banks marked it as to-read
Nov 10, 2014
Pratt
Pratt marked it as to-read
Nov 06, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Happy Adoption Day! Water From Another Time (Songbook) Four Seasons: Summer John McCutcheon - Stone by Stone John McCutcheon's Hammer Dulcimer Repertoire

Share This Book