Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting” as Want to Read:
Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  615 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
On July 29th 1914, the world’s peace was shattered as the artillery of the Austria-Hungary Empire began shelling the troops of the country to its south. What followed was like a row of falling dominoes as one European country after another rushed into war. Soon most of Europe was fighting in this calamitous war that could have been avoided. This was, of course, the First W ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Scholastic Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

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

Reader Q&A

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Betsy
Nov 01, 2009 Betsy rated it it was amazing
If your history classes in school were anything like mine, then this is how a typical year would go: Lots of Revolutionary War, lots of Civil War, oh no it's almost the end of the year so let's just skip to WWII, and finally a brief smattering of Vietnam. WWI got the short end of the stick year after year after year when I was growing up. In fact, by the time I graduated from high school I associated only a couple vague images with it: mustard gas, red poppies, and All Quiet On The Western Front ...more
Julie Suzanne
While this book is in the Juvenile section of the library, I have to say it's the best book on WWI (or any war) that I've ever read. The causes and consequences of WWI are so much clearer to me; I could probably even carry on a lengthy discussion about it. I have read textbook chapters about WWI both in high school and college, and once I started this text, I felt like I didn't know a THING about it. So, I do recommend this to adults who love history but don't necessarily love reading adult nonf ...more
Josiah
Mar 11, 2010 Josiah rated it liked it
Truce isn't primarily a book about World War I. As is often the case in Jim Murphy's books, Truce explains the essential facts that led to the war, but then zeroes in on one unusual section of the war that was strikingly memorable, and makes it the focus of the book. In this case, the unusual occurrence is the almost unexplainably widespread truce between the British and German soldiers which took place in the battle zone of the Western Front on Christmas Eve and Day of 1914.

I knew a fair amou
...more
Alex Baugh
Dec 11, 2012 Alex Baugh rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-i
Truce is a wonderful book that not only tells the story of the unofficial Christmas Truce of 1914 during World War I, but also gives a coherent, thorough history of the events leading up to the hostilities and just what those terrible first months of war was like in the trenches.

The fact is that most of us don't really remember World War I from our high school history days. And I know I never learned that World War I could have and almost was prevented. So I can honestly say that I (re)learned
...more
Joe Radtke
Nov 16, 2014 Joe Radtke rated it it was amazing

Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting by Jim Murphy is a non-fiction book about the Christmas Truce of 1914 during World War One. Jim Murphy starts the book by writing about how the war started and showing how the whole conflict could've been avoided. The anger that lead to the war started when an Austrian-Hungarian Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand when assassinated by a Serbian National. Now this was especially bad because he was the heir to the throne and the Austrian-Hungarians already hated
...more
Rebecca
Jun 02, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
I know, I'm too liberal with my 5-star ratings, but boy have I been reading some good stuff lately. This was unintentionally the perfect nonfiction follow-up to Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. Westerfeld's book, though it was an alternate history, still taught me more about what set off World War I than I remember learning in school, and Murphy's book fleshes out the reality magnificently, with maps, photos, drawings, first-person quotes, a timeline, notes & sources, additional resources, and ...more
Missy
Oct 14, 2009 Missy rated it really liked it
I've never known much about WWI. I liked this book - a children's book, so it was in layman's terms and easy to understand - but it gave a feel for the horrors of war without being graphic. I am going to share some quotes from the book that impacted me. I guess I should say *spoiler alert* in case I'm giving something away.

The story of the Christmas truce is one I was vaguely familiar with, but I didn't realize that the truce didn't end on Dec. 26. In some areas, it continued for months. In one
...more
Moe
Usually, when I read non-fiction I don't do it willingly. This book was different. I never knew that the famous 1st World War had a good, touching, part to it. I think everyone should read this book, because I believe that peace is the answer instead of war. I also believe that everyone has a good part to them, just waiting to shine. This book taught not only about climax of the war, but also the little steps that built up to WW1. I might take up some more non-fiction after this great piece of l ...more
Debby
Mar 29, 2014 Debby rated it it was amazing
An excellent book about the Christmas truce of 1914. Confirms my belief that most people want to live in peace if you can keep the leaders/governments out of it. Very well-written.
S. J.
May 10, 2013 S. J. rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Older children, Young Adults, History lovers
Recommended to S. by: Author's Name
I'm not going to do my full review on this because I'd have to wait at least another week and chew on my thoughts on this book to do that and I have to take it back tomorrow.

First let me say, I liked the book. I've always been interested in WWI more then many other parts of history and the Christmas Truce is something that everyone knows happened but they don't know the facts about it.

That being said, I have to confess to being a bit disappointed in this one. I have loved every Jim Murphy hist
...more
Kristin
Jan 03, 2017 Kristin rated it really liked it
I meant to finish this closer to Christmas but oh well, I read it now. Still an inspiring read, reminding us all we are more alike than different. An amazing moment in time.
Grace F
May 05, 2013 Grace F rated it it was amazing
Truce by Jim Murphy is a wonderful, eye-opening book about the peaks of evil and good in human history. This book tells the story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 in Western Europe during World War I. During World War I, all of the soldiers on both sides were fighting to prove that their country was the best. Their political leaders had implanted in the citizens’ minds that the enemy were savages and barbarians. The soldiers fought because they believed it was going to be honorable to fight for t ...more
Erica
Feb 27, 2011 Erica rated it really liked it
Book talk: World War I marked the beginning of modern warfare, but its commanders still used the old war tactics. The results were disastrous. Soldiers were stuck in mud-filled trenches full of disease, afraid to lift their head above the edge for even a second for fear of being struck down by a sharpshooter. The two sides, led to war under false pretenses, would exchange grenades and fire and occasionally be ordered out on doomed charges toward the other side that only resulted in casualties li ...more
Sheila
Sep 07, 2014 Sheila rated it it was amazing
Jim Murphy did an excellent job researching and writing this historical nonfiction book for young adults. He expertly and concisely explained the causes and effects of WWI, conveying the pointlessness of the war. While most American history books, whether they be fiction, nonfiction, or even textbooks, focus on American involvement in WWI, Murphy accurately and unashamedly excludes from mentioning the U.S. in the first five chapters of his book. Instead, he follows the wars progression chronolog ...more
Brenda Lower
Dec 20, 2012 Brenda Lower rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, history, teen
From my blog at: http://brensbookstoread.blogspot.com/

The Great War, World War I is raging through Europe, sending despair through hearts. Soldiers are converging, battle lines are drawn. Death stalks these men, taking its daily toll. Hope is scarce, and the future looks dim.

In the midst of one of the most horrible times of war, one day stands different than the others. Christmas Day, 1914, dawns cold and silent. Instead of bullets, Christmas carols ring through the air. A brief truce between th
...more
Maricor
Mar 21, 2011 Maricor rated it really liked it
Truce by Jim Murphy (2009)
Through a well-explained backdrop, Murphy sets the scene of World War I and what became known as the Great War, for its trench warfare with modernized weaponry and lack of defensive measures that led to millions of casualties. In Truce, Murphy shares an objective view that shows all parties’ men honored to go to war, somewhat naively, before realizing that this would not be a simple fight or an easy win. After months of muddy and unsanitary conditions, soldiers found th
...more
Angie
Jan 19, 2012 Angie rated it really liked it
World War I is known as the Great War and the War to End All Wars, but it seems like World War II gets all the attention in schools, media and history books. I for one don't remember learning a lot about WWI in school. I do remember learning a lot and reading a lot about WWII however. So my knowledge about WWI is limited. This book by Jim Murphy was an excellent source of information about the events leading up to the start of the war and some of the things that took place during the war. It is ...more
Becky B
Nov 22, 2015 Becky B rated it really liked it
Jim Murphy presents a rather different focus on WWI from the norm. He looks at how the war was potentially avoidable, but pride and other things got in the way of peace. He then outlines some of the initial battles, but focuses on how slow and futile much of the battle tactics and fighting in this war were. This leads up to the Christmas of 1914. The men were tired of the fruitless battles and life in the trenches, and little tendrils of peaceful actions between the fighting forces leading up to ...more
Jess
Aug 19, 2009 Jess rated it really liked it
Jim Murphy writes historical fiction that reads like a story, without ever being fictionalized. Out of all the muddle of history, he pulls out a story complete with suspense, fascinating characters, and plot twists that would be hard to believe if they weren't completely true.

In Truce, Murphy tackles a little piece of a big story - the first World War. A note mentions that he originally intended to write more thoroughly about the war, but stuck to this one aspect for various reasons. His initia
...more
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
Mar 06, 2012 IndyPL Kids Book Blog rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is the story of what took place in December, 1914 during World War I. At that time there were two sides fighting. On one side was the German army, and on the other side was Britain and France. They had been foughting for a long time, and a lot of men on both sides died, but neither side could gain any ground. Each side had dug a trench, an actual ditch, that stretched for miles and miles and miles. The two trenches ran parallel to each other.

The soldiers on both sides lived in the tren
...more
Karen Ball
Feb 13, 2011 Karen Ball rated it really liked it
This is the story of the First World War, focusing on one amazing event: a Christmas truce where the soldiers themselves stopped fighting spontaneously, met in the middle of the battlefield, and exchanged gifts and sang carols together... while the military leaders were demanding that they fight and threatening them with court-martial if they disobeyed. This book is much more than the story of that truce, though. It explains how the war began, with details from the assassination of Austria's Arc ...more
Kate Belczyk
Feb 23, 2010 Kate Belczyk rated it really liked it
Murphy, Jim. Truce. Scholastic, 2009. $19.99. 9780545430493. ****
Gr. 4-6—The events leading up to World War I and the course of action during 1914 are not easy topics to introduce to young readers. Even a basic knowledge of European geography may not be familiar to many fourth or fifth graders. The complex political and military maneuvering between Germany, France, Great Britain are even harder to put into basic terms. However, Jim Murphy does an excellent job accomplishing all of this in Truce.
...more
Mike
Dec 02, 2013 Mike rated it it was amazing
This historical non-fiction story depicts the miraculous story that took place in the horrors of World War 1. It was the first war fought with modern weapons, but old tactics. People still believe that war should be fought in a “gentleman” fashion and charge forward in straight line. Unfortunately, nobody was prepared for the mass destruction that this weapons would occasion. I love the story and message this book portrayed. Even in the mists of war, we see the spirit and good nature of us human ...more
Sandra Mendoza
Apr 21, 2016 Sandra Mendoza rated it really liked it
This historical non-fiction story depicts the miraculous story that took place in the horrors of World War 1. It was the first war fought with modern weapons, but old tactics. People still believe that war should be fought in a “gentleman” fashion and charge forward in straight line. Unfortunately, nobody was prepared for the mass destruction that this weapons would occasion. I love the story and message this book portrayed. Even in the mists of war, we see the spirit and good nature of us human ...more
Kaycee
Jun 21, 2013 Kaycee rated it it was amazing
Over 8 million people died over the course of World War I. The weapons had advanced beyond traditional warfare at the time and the soldiers found themselves fighting a completely new and seemingly avoidable war. By December of 1914 the war everyone had thought would be short had been going on for months and was already very brutal. Then Christmas came and a true Christmas miracle occurred. Soldiers on both sides of the Western Front stopped fighting. Truce details the events leading up to one of ...more
Jacki
Dec 17, 2010 Jacki rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-non-fiction
Summary: A non-fiction explanation with plentiful illustrations of the causes of World War I and the story of the famous Christmas truce, in which many companies of British and German soldiers agreed to stop fighting for Christmas Day.

Verdict: Touching and informative.

Yay!: Provides a more thorough look at an event that is often just a footnote in the narrative of this war. For instance, I thought I knew all about the Christmas truce, but I had no idea that it was actually insubordination. I als
...more
Chrissy DeMarco
Feb 12, 2014 Chrissy DeMarco rated it it was ok
Truce by Jim Murphy takes place in Austria Hungary during the time of Word War 1. During this time period many nations were pushed to begin fighting in the war, and many soldiers were eager to begin fighting because they thought it would show a sign of strength and loyalty to their country. One inside the war, most men found out that it was not a pleasurable experience and many million soldiers were killed. Like many wars, part of this war took place during Christmas time. This was unlike many o ...more
Angel Romero
Nov 27, 2013 Angel Romero rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, chapter-book
This historical non-fiction story depicts the miraculous story that took place in the horrors of World War 1. It was the first war fought with modern weapons, but old tactics. People still believe that war should be fought in a “gentleman” fashion and charge forward in straight line. Unfortunately, nobody was prepared for the mass destruction that this weapons would occasion. This war pave way to trench warfare. Basically, the enemies dug up trenches between each other and in the middle, filled ...more
Trish
Jun 28, 2011 Trish rated it liked it
I thought this book was interesting and gave good background information about WWI and its beginnings, but it was hard for me to really focus on the story. Jim Murphy, the author, did a good job of giving a general overview of the unofficial truce from December 25, 1914, and reasons why each country went to war. However, with so many countries involved and with the way he jumped back and forth between descriptions of countries and their reasons, it was a little confusing. I had to read some part ...more
Evette
Dec 01, 2013 Evette rated it really liked it
Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting by Jim Murphy. This story is a historical non-fiction story that depicts what took place in the horrors of World War 1. It was the first war fought with modern weapons, but old tactics. People still believe that war should be fought in a “gentleman” fashion and charge forward in straight line. Unfortunately, nobody was prepared for the mass destruction that this weapons would cause. This war pave way to trench warfare. Basically, the enemies dug up tr ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
  • Marching for Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don't You Grow Weary
  • The War to End All Wars: World War I
  • The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum
  • Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11
  • Chuck Close: Face Book
  • Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer
  • Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust
  • Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy
  • Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring (Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards))
  • Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917
  • Henry and the Cannons: An Extraordinary True Story of the American Revolution
  • Parrots Over Puerto Rico
  • Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot (Scientists in the Field Series)
  • Saving the Baghdad Zoo
  • Bayard Rustin: The Invisible Activist
  • Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark
  • Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
20468
an American author of more than 35 nonfiction and fiction books for children, young adults, and general audiences, including more than 30 about American history. He won the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association in 2010 for his contribution in writing for teens. Jim lives in Maplewood, New Jersey, in a hundred-year-old house with his wife Alison Blank, a children’s TV produce ...more
More about Jim Murphy...

Share This Book