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One Day in Oradour

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  91 ratings  ·  21 reviews
On a hot summer afternoon in 1944, troops wiped out an entire French village. 644 men, women and children died that day. Just one child survived. This book tells the story of what happened in Oradour, and imagines what drove both theofficer who ordered the massacre, and the seven-year-old boy who escaped it. Nominated for the 2014 CILIP Carnegie Medal for an outstanding bo ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published May 9th 2013 by A&c Black Childrens & Educational (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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K.J. Charles
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Astounding. I knew nothing about this true story. It's horrifying. A sleepy French village is waiting out the war, far from the action, until a rogue SS officer decides to wreak vengeance for a Resistance attack and 640 innocent, unarmed people died.

This is a YA title, technically, but it's as appropriate for adults as anyone. The author gives us the viewpoint character of a small boy who survives the massacre, and of the SS officer who perpetrated it. (It's fictionalised, so the real people ar
Mrs Harris Librarian
The events at Oradour must be remembered and Helen Watts has had the opportunity to give a fresh voice to a terrible and inhuman event which many are unaware of. I feel very uncomfortable only giving this book two stars, but my concern is that this has been a missed opportunity to reach a young adult readership who would respond with sensitivity to this story. This story is described as being for older readers, but is written in a style which is too simplistic and cliched and will not engage the ...more
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who remembers the 1970's T.V. Series 'The World at War' (narrated by Sir Lawrence Olivier) will recall the opening and closing sequences of the French Village Oradour-sur-Glane. What took place there ended up as one of the worst atrocities of the Second World War. Before I begin my review I must add that I have read many historical accounts of WW2 so I knew of what took place in Oradour-sur-Glane and what the author was bringing to our attention.

‘One Day in Oradour’ is a compelling story
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
I don't know how this came to my attention on Amazon, but having been to, heard the history of, and been quite stunned by Oradour,I had to give it a read.
A fictionalized account, based quite a lot on the story of the survivors, and then some extra passing on the Germans, it goes some way to explaining the place.
Being a teenage book, it lacks too much graphic detail, and I think I'd happily let any one over ten read it, gives a true sense of war, not just pointlessness of all the deaths, but how
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't realise when I downloaded this to my kindle that it is a book targeted at young adults. It is as might be expected very much akin to Michael Morpurgo's style and I see that he is one of Helen Watts favourites.

It's certainly a quick and easy read and a page turner - I'm not sure why though the author changed the names of the 'characters' - as she evidently trod a fine line between fact and fiction it may have allowed her more creative freedom.....but the story didn't need it and would h
Justine Skeet
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A harrowing book about a true and incredibly sad story in WWII. Such bravery amid such an atrocity. I couldn’t look at the cover of this book without thinking of my own son at age 7. The boy on the cover is the 7 year old surviver in a village which was so cruelly destroyed. Such a brave little boy.
Rob Kemp
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A truly terrible story, gently and precisely recounted.
Leanne Hennigan
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I visited Oradour in 2014 and was really moved. I was so pleased to discover this book. It is a brilliant story, well written and suitable for children and adults alike.
Nicole Hagenaars
Na een meisje uit Oradour, wederom verbaasd over de gruwelen die in dit dorp hebben plaatsgevonden. Het verhaal is zeer indringend geschreven. Kippenvel......en dan nog waargebeurd ook 😭
Lindsay Tandy
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is based on a shocking historical event that occurred in a small French village in 1944 when virtually the entire population - including 206 children - were massacred by the SS. Before you read the first page of the book, we are given this information so we know what the book is about and how it will end. However, Watts manages to build up tension and suspense throughout the book even though we know the ending. She does this by telling the story over two days and through different char ...more
Haydn Corper
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a book worth reading. It tells the story of the massacre, and the word is appropriate, of a village in France in June nineteen forty four, Its told from the points of view of victims, especially a small boy, and of the officer commanding the troops who carried out the atrocity. I found the style a little simplistic at first, and there were a few annoying printing errors, but its most definitely worth opening the covers for - especially in these days of mayhem and slaughter around the wor ...more
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book based on a gut wrenching true story, a horrendous event that took place on June 10th 1944. I visited this village and it has remained with me for ever. To think that one man, leading a group of soldiers could inflict such horror on so many is unbelievable.
This book is clever, it reads like simplistic fiction yet it is really a well written factual account, the final epilogue explains how it has been 'fictionalised'. If you don't know this story - read it, be prepared to want to kn
Scarlett Storer-roe
I very rarely write a review but feel this book deserves one. I personally enjoyed the authors style of writing and despite the content enjoyed the book. I found it a deeply touching subject and one I hadn't heard of before. It would have been easy for the author to make the story too fictionalised and gory but her afterword really explained everything and I felt she has written an account which takes the subject matter and gives it justice.
Historical fiction, but I 'm not sure what the point was of changing the real-life names of the characters.
Young adult fiction? Young adults are reading at a pretty low level. I thought it was for older children.
If you don't know the story, it's a good intro. If you do, it will still give you bad dreams.
Laura avery
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Deeply moving and dsturbing. I'm glad I read it, as horrifying as it was. I had no idea this had happened , although I have read and heard of simular stories. I'm off to France soon, I hope to visit D day beaches , I will deeply think of all the lost lives in war.
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Still shocked and horrified at the slaughter of innocent people at the hands of one deranged lunatic! Though the truth will never be known, these events should never be forgotten. Unfortunately massacres like this one still happen in our world today....
Georgina Monk
Jun 05, 2013 rated it liked it
The characterisation was extremely detailed for a book of this length-It became increasingly addictive toward the end but I found it a little young to be read by a lot of YA but too old for kids-It could have done with having more detail with it but a wonderful premise nevertheless.
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
So many wartime stories... This fiction based on real events is both worthy and moving and made more so by the photos and real events listed in the epilogue.
On a hot summer afternoon in 1944, troops wiped out an entire French village. 644 men, women and children died that day. Just one child survived.
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-challenge
Disappointing. The tragic, true story deserves better writing than this lame fictionalised account, and children deserve better craftsmanship.
Ashira Meyer
rated it liked it
Feb 08, 2017
Susan Powers
rated it it was ok
Nov 24, 2019
Beverly kerrison
rated it it was amazing
Sep 06, 2016
Jane Fella
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Feb 01, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2020
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Jun 19, 2014
Sally Evans
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Apr 02, 2018
Katy Heath
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Oct 03, 2018
Beth Faulkner
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May 12, 2018
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Did you like the writing style? 1 8 Jun 08, 2013 09:06AM  

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HELEN WATTS has worked in publishing for 25 years, editing, commissioning and producing fiction, non-fiction and poetry titles on a wide range of subjects and topics, for readers of all ages, and in all kinds of forms - from magazines and books to online publications and interactive resources. She has worked for some of the biggest and best publishing houses in the UK, including Scholastic and Hei ...more

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