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A Secret Diary of the First World War

Fact-tastic Stories from Scotland's History

Gill Arbuthnott
Darren Gate


Also available as: eBook

This book is not yet published but can be pre-ordered now. The publication date is listed below. Orders will be shipped as soon as the book is released.

Range: Young Kelpies Paperback 144 pages 40 b/w illustrations 197 x 158 mm ISBN: 9781782505273 Publication date: 26 July 2018

What was the First World War really like? Step into the boots of 14-year-old James Marchbank and experience the most important, incredible, peculiar, poignant, remarkable and revolting bits of World War 1.

Inspired by the real-life diary of a Scottish boy soldier, each easy-to-read chapter mixes James's story with timelines, letters, diagrams and illustrations to create a fact-tastic account of the First World War, which is both fun and emotionally engaging for younger readers.

Take a journey through time to find out…

-- Why rat hunting became a popular hobby in the trenches
-- How parachuting pigeons helped at war
-- Why a really good friend would rub whale oil on your feet
-- What it actually felt like to be a teenager at war

A Secret Diary of the First World War is the first in a new brilliant series, which blends together intriguing facts and fascinating fiction to bring the most exciting, gruesome and crucial moments of Scottish history alive for young readers.

Secret Diary of the First World War


Gill Arbuthnott was born and brought up in Edinburgh, but escaped briefly to study in St Andrews and Southampton. She couldn’t stay away, however, and now lives in Edinburgh with her family and Leonard the cat. A former biology teacher, she writes both fiction and…

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Darren Gate is the 2016 winner of the Kelpies Design and Illustration Prize. He is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Glasgow.

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