I Am Canada: Shot at Dawn: World War I, Allan McBride, France, 1917 by John WilsonI Am Canada: Shot at Dawn: World War I, Allan McBride, France, 1917 by John Wilson

I Am Canada: Shot at Dawn: World War I, Allan McBride, France, 1917

byJohn Wilson

Hardcover | February 1, 2011

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Sentenced to death for abandoning his unit, a soldier recounts the events leading up to his arrest.

The reality of trench warfare is a shock to Allan McBride. Like many other young soldiers, he enthusiastically signed up for the chance to join the war effort and be a part of the fighting. But after months in the ravaged battlefields, watching men, including his friend Ken, get blown up by German shelling, something in Allan snaps and he leaves his unit, believing he is "walking home to Canada" to get help for his friend.

After nearly a week of wandering aimlessly, Allan is taken in by a band of real deserters - men who have abandoned their units and live on the edge of survival in the woods of northern France. Once Allan realizes what he's done, he is paralyzed by the reality of his circumstance: if he stays with these men, it's possible they will be found and have to face the consequences; and if he returns to his unit, he will be charged with desertion - a charge punishable by death.

In this outstanding new title in the I Am Canada series, acclaimed author John Wilson explores life in the horrific trenches of WWI and the effect of battle on a shell-shocked soldier.

JOHN WILSON has almost two dozen books to his credit, including the Governor General's Award-nominated The Alchemist's Dream. In addition to writing, John is an energetic presenter who spends a lot of time travelling, telling stories about his books and engaging young readers in historical fiction. He lives in Lantzville, British Colum...
Title:I Am Canada: Shot at Dawn: World War I, Allan McBride, France, 1917Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 6.79 × 4.74 × 0.75 inPublished:February 1, 2011Publisher:Scholastic Canada LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0545985951

ISBN - 13:9780545985956

Appropriate for ages: 9


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Shot at dawn Sad story of a soldier… sadly it really is true and happens to most soldiers who see combat.
Date published: 2014-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from gripping, horrific and page-turning. Reason for Reading: I am reading this series plus I enjoy this author. Having read this author before I knew this would not be a book for young children. John Wilson writes war stories that are gripping, horrific and page-turning. He describes the death in graphic detail which is not for the faint of heart and yet he does so in few words without gratuitous adjectives. The simple brief truth is enough to bring the reality of war home to the reader. The "I Am Canada" series, while recommended for 8-12 year olds, is not consistently suitable for the age spread with each individual book. Some books are OK for 8+ while others, like this one, are more for 12+ (as is suggested on the publisher's website). So make sure you know the title will match your child's maturity when choosing. I found this book gripping and read it in one sitting which was only interrupted by a need to eat. This is a brutal look at war and not very sympathetic to the soldiers' plight as we are only getting the point of view of one person. Now, don't get me wrong, the reader is made sympathetic, terribly so, to the plight of the soldiers but the book does come across as harsh and slightly anti-war in its sympathies. This is clarified though in the author's note which is very informative on the Canadian role in WWI and speaks particularly to Canada's pride and remembrance of soldiers who fought at Amiens. I learnt quite a lot of information in this note about the shooting of British Empire soldiers for desertion. A moving read which will appeal mostly to boys, and those who enjoy gripping and personal war stories.
Date published: 2012-02-04

Read from the Book

Excerpt from Shot at Dawn

"Shells were landing all along the barbed-wire entanglements in front of the trench, throwing up great fountains of earth, shattered wooden stakes and chaotic tangles of wire. Other, heavier guns were targeting the fortified strongpoints behind us. Instinctively we huddled down as low as possible in the bottom of the trench as the ground heaved and clods of earth flew through the air."