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A Rose for the ANZAC Boys

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  1,507 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
The 'War to end all Wars', as seen through the eyes of three young women

It is 1915. War is being fought on a horrific scale in the trenches of France, but it might as well be a world away from sixteen–year–old New Zealander Midge Macpherson, at school in England learning to be a young lady. But the war is coming closer: Midge's brothers are in the army, and her twin, Tim,
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by HarperCollins - AU
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5+ ★s
Nowadays I find that historical fiction is my favourite genre. If a book is well written and well researched, I not only have the pleasure of an entertaining read, but also I learn new things about different aspects of history. A Rose for the ANZAC Boys certainly delivered on both counts.

Reading this book led to a paradigm shift in my understanding of Australian and New Zealander participation in World War 1. All my life I have believed that those glorious young men went off to war, leaving
Clare Cannon
Apr 28, 2010 Clare Cannon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 12+ years (girls)
This is one of the most moving historical novels I've found. Three girls are attending boarding school when World War I begins. Their brothers are sent to the front, and the three look for ways to contribute to the war effort themselves.

They set up a station canteen in France to serve food to the soldiers who pass through. As the fighting escalates, their station becomes a transport point for the wounded, and in increasingly dire conditions the girls exhaust themselves to make these men a little
Mar 26, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
Having been educated at an all girls school, I have always been told that ‘girls can do anything’. This book proves that saying right – and in doing so recognises the efforts and achievements of millions of women in World War One.

Midge (pronounced ‘Migee’) is a wonderful heroine and I’m sure French has captured the spirit of the women who fought just as hard as the soldiers doing battle. However, she has also captured the spirit of the ANZAC boys.

...the Anzacs were the bravest, stubbornest tr
Emi B
Jul 12, 2009 Emi B rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in the women who served in the wars
Shelves: my-favorites
A Rose for the Anzac Boys:
Is about the forgotten army of WWI. The army of women who volunteered their time, supplies, skills and lives to help all the troops that went to war. This story is told through the eyes of a courageous girl called Midge Macpherson who gets sent to a school in England to become a lady, after her two brothers Tim and Dougie have headed off to war. Midge befriends two girls Ethyl and Anne at her school in England and the three of them decided that they are sick and tired o
Anthony Eaton
May 24, 2009 Anthony Eaton rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful, if often confronting novel.

Plenty has been written about the Australian and New Zealand experience during World War One, both in the realms of fiction and non fiction. Few authors, though, have explored the often untold story of those behind the fronts, those women and volunteers who weren't 'official', but who lived, died, suffered and endured almost as much as the men in the trenches.

That French, one of Australia's most loved and most diverse authors for children and young
Saturday's Child
Aug 12, 2016 Saturday's Child rated it liked it
"Like" is not the word I would choose to use for the subject of war, but this novel is one that helps to introduce young readers to the subject of World War I. It also highlights the contributions that women of all ages and backgrounds made to the war. I am pleased to know that it is on many High School's readings lists.
David 'n'
Nov 16, 2013 David 'n' rated it really liked it
A sweet book, war should never be repeated
Victoria (My Books Are Me)
Originally published on My Books Are Me

A thoroughly moving story about love, loss and friendship during such a tragic and horrendous time in world history.

In June 1915, Midge Macpherson receives a letter from her twin Tim, who is serving at Gallipoli, but soon learns that he is missing presumed dead. Sure it's all been a mistake and wanting to help the war-effort more, Midge and her friends Anne and Ethel decide to head to France to set up a canteen to serve soldiers heading to and from the ba
Mar 01, 2011 Anna rated it liked it
I liked this book; I think this is an important book. I always feel like I don’t know enough about history and about the great wars, and it was so interesting to get into the headspace of the 1910s, and into the lives of the women who worked themselves to the bone for their ‘boys’. It was also fascinating to learn of how during the war women had to take charge and gained independence, and like a domino knocked over, the push for women’s rights followed. The back of this book says ‘exhaustively r ...more
Helen O'Toole
Dec 09, 2016 Helen O'Toole rated it really liked it
Jackie French is a wonderful young people's writer because she chooses aspects of history that are often overlooked. In this instance, it is the varied roles of women in the First World War. Midge Macpherson is a noble young sixteen year old when we first meet her. She is at a finishing school in England; sent over from distant New Zealand, now an orphan with two brothers enlisted in the Australian and New Zealand armies. Her twin brother Tim has lied about his age ( he is 16) and the novel is p ...more
Joyce Sandilands
Feb 11, 2011 Joyce Sandilands rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all ages
This book was sweet, but expectantly sad, giving a very realistic picture of what it could have been like for three young girls (from England and New Zealand) who decided to go the edge of the war zone in France during World War One ... to help. This was the attitude of so many of the soldiers and volunteers, and the reason so many of them volunteered for this unknown adventure. It was about the soldiers they met in the course of their duties at their canteen and how the people and the experienc ...more
Nushiiii loves Peeta Mellark ♥1D♥
Apr 14, 2011 Nushiiii loves Peeta Mellark ♥1D♥ rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who love sad stories, or history ficiton. And romance as well I guess.
OMG THIS BOOK IS SO SAD! like i dont think i even encountered ONE happy bit! srsly it was super depressing. Also, I didnt get t enjoy the book properly (the end bit anyway) because we were reading it for school and had to answer four REALLY INDEPTH questions about EVERY CHAPTER which took about 2 weeks to do (like every single day). But anyway, half way through doing the activity I was so into the book I just stopped and read the whole thing, because it's that kinda book where you can't keep put ...more
Oct 06, 2011 Carissa rated it liked it
I really enjoyed being able to read a historical fiction novel about World War I. I haven't read too many books during this era. I felt like I learned a lot, especially about women during this time period. The book did a great job at displaying how horrible war can be.

That being said, I was disappointed with the writing in this book. The author used letters frequently in her narration which felt more like her place to include facts about World War I then actual letters that people would write. T
Aug 25, 2011 Sam rated it really liked it
I read this book for my book club and it was such a touching read. I never really knew much about World War 1 and it has opened my eyes to how bad it was back then. It wasn't an overly gruesome tale of the war but a story based on truth from a teenage girls point of view. The story and characters were written so well and I really liked the extra stuff at the end of the book from the author explaining specific details in the book. This Anzac day I'll not only think of the men who fought in our wa ...more
Oct 06, 2012 Nell rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
For Yr9 ESL. I'm really glad they put this on the syllabus because there is nothing less awkward than explaining to one's ESL class that the phrase 'He's a white man' is another way of saying 'He's a great guy'. At least I got to bake the kids some Anzac biscuits. I think the real take-home message here is that golden syrup is delicious.
Meg McConnell
Jul 26, 2015 Meg McConnell rated it really liked it
Sad at some times but a good read if you are interested in World War 1 as seen from the ANZAC and English side of the War.
Tianne Shaw
Mar 08, 2017 Tianne Shaw rated it it was amazing
Yet again you are transported to reality of WW1 with Midge her family and friends. This book is just as descriptive as being there and highly recommended to read no matter what age you are.
Chris Wolak
This is one of those books that probably wouldn't have crossed my path had I not participated in a reading challenge. Two challenges, actually: the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012 and the World War I reading challenge hosted by War Through the Generations. I needed--and of course wanted---to read one more book for each category so looked around for a WWI themed book written by an Australian women writer. What what an unexpectedly brilliant read this was.

ANZAC is an acronym for the Austra
Mar 09, 2017 Hannah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
I looooooooooooved this book.......what else can I say? ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤
Maeve (Otherwordlybooks)
Apr 18, 2015 Maeve (Otherwordlybooks) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books, 2015, 5-stars
A Rose for the ANZAC Boys is a wondrous book. It's grim, of course; but written with the light strokes of the ever caring Jackie French.

Growing up in Australia we're all taught about the brave Anzacs, those men and boys that fought for the Mother Land. Hearing common sayings along the lines; Aussie battlers , Under the rising sun and how heroic and courageous those boys were. It always instilled pride into me, I didn't even know anyone who fought in World War I but like so many other things
Nov 21, 2016 Ella rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone over 14 years of age
Shelves: english-11
A Rose for the ANZAC Boys by Jackie FrenchBOOK OVERVIEW

“A Rose for the ANZAC Boys” is a novel by Jackie French set during the horrific years of World War One. After Margery (Midge) Macpherson’s old brother Dougie and twin brother Tim enlist in the war, Midge is sent to an English boarding school. Midge feels the war getting closer as she receives a letter from Tim. After devastating news, Midge and her friends Ethel and Anne decide that it is their turn to “do their bit” for the war. The three girls arrive in France and set up a cantee
Sep 24, 2011 Kayla rated it it was amazing
This novel is simply stunning. I first read ‘A rose for the ANZAC boys’ in year eight for The Readers’ Cup and since then it has kept a special place in my mind and heart. It is a perfect example of brilliant teenage fiction. A story inside a story. The prologue and the epilogue tell us about Lachie and his ancestry of war heroes and their tribute to the Anzac Boys.
The main story is set though 1915 to 1920 and follows the journey Margery McPherson takes to find her twin brother Tim. She and her
Graeme Cash
Apr 03, 2016 Graeme Cash rated it liked it
A Rose for the ANZAC Boys focuses on the female volunteers of World War I, who nursed and cared for soldiers, drove ambulances, raised money for the War effort, sent food parcels and knitted clothing. Jackie French calls these women the ‘forgotten army’.

It is 1915 and sixteen-year-old Margery ‘Midge’ Macpherson from a Canterbury sheep farm in New Zealand is studying at Miss Hollington’s School for Young Ladies, a boarding school in England, while her two brothers Dougie and Tim serve in the Army
Nov 29, 2015 Constantreader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
NOT YA Fiction--A Believable Passage to WWI

I've been reading a lot of English-language histories, memoirs, and diaries of women, mostly nurses, who worked in France during WWI, as background to re-enacting a French Red Cross volunteer in a cantine. All of these are moving, but many are colored by the conventions of their time (look at the positive, protect those at home from terrible realities, glorify or romanticize the roles or effort, depending on the agenda or needs of the writer). Many are
Jul 31, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: teenage, australian, war
Wonderful book about the often unknown female volunteers of WW1 who worked as ambulance drivers, etc on the Western front. It tells the story of 3 schoolgirls who set up a canteen for the troops in France. Midge is a NZ who is worried about her twin brother missing at Gallipoli. Her other brother is fighting on the western front. She feels that she must do something to help, so persuades Ann, daughter of a duchess and another girl who has ties to the grocery business to help her in France with a ...more
Seo Jin P
Jul 11, 2015 Seo Jin P rated it it was amazing
This book is about a girl named Margery (others call her Midge for short) who faces the tragedies and obstacles during World War 1. Both two of her brothers, Douglas and Tim are in the army to fight. However, Tim is listed as 'missing', and no one knows where he is or whether he is alive or not. Midge is so desperate to help in the war, that she start a canteen in France with her friends Ethel and Anne, caring for the wounded soldiers from the front. The endless flow of them make their jobs hard ...more
Alyce Caswell
Jun 18, 2015 Alyce Caswell rated it really liked it
Midge Macpherson, a 16-year-old Kiwi languishing in an English boarding school while her brother fights in WWI, wants to be able to do more than roll bandages and wait impatiently for sporadic and censored letters from the front. Together with her friends Ethel and Anne, Midge opens a canteen for troops in France, far enough from the fighting that they should be safe. But Midge learns that nothing is safe - not even her heart.

French is extremely prolific and I've always enjoyed her work aimed at
Kathleen Dixon
Apr 18, 2011 Kathleen Dixon rated it really liked it
Another excellent teen novel by Jackie French, this story begins at an Anzac Day Parade in Australia in the 1960s, with a boy pushing his grandfather up the hill in his wheelchair. His grandfather lays a single rose among the wreaths at the end of the service.

We then go to a girls' finishing school in Britain, 1914. A Kiwi lass has been sent to finishing school while her 2 brothers have both enlisted. When one of them is listed "missing" she feels more frustrated than ever at being able to contr
Dec 13, 2013 Esther rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing... I have always been one that has been interested in the stories of both the first and second world war. And this book is one of the best books I have read that depicts the horrors and true events that happen in the first world war. A Rose For the ANZAC boys is not told from the point of view of the soldiers instead from the point of view of a young New Zealand girl, Midge. Who, along with two of her friends begin a canteen in France to feed the injured soldiers.
Midge's s
Danielle Burns
Oct 16, 2012 Danielle Burns rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-ya-faves, aww
Although written as a fictional tale for children, and at times the dialogue can be slightly jarring, this slim volume gives a unique insight into the life of a female volunteer in Europe during WW1.
There were many unsung heroines who took the opportunity of war to escape their constricted lifestyle and 'do their bit' at railway canteens, first aid stations, hospitals and even as ambulance drivers all around the continent.
The best part of the book for me was the use of authentic army slang. Th
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Jackie is an award-winning writer, wombat negotiator and the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2014-2015. She is regarded as one of Australia’s most popular children’s authors, and writes across all genres - from picture books, history, fantasy, ecology and sci-fi to her much loved historical fiction. In her capacity as Australian Children’s Laureate, ‘Share a Story’ will be the primary philosoph ...more
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