The Anzac Violin by Jennifer Beck

Hi there, this second week I wanted to review a delightful book that came across my path whilst working one day. It’s a sophisticated picture book or graphic novel type read rather than a normal tween read but I thought it deserved to be highlighted. This delightful read is about a young soldier who travelled from New Zealand and found himself in Gallipoli and is actually based on a true story. I hope readers will feel the tug at their heartstrings as mine did!!

The Anzac violin man playing violin behind soldiers by lamp
A delightful graphic read

Title: The Anzac Violin

Author: Jennifer Beck

Illustrator: Robyn Belton

Publication details: Scholastic New Zealand; 2018

ISBN: 9781775433910

What this book is about: It is 1915 and the world is at war. Anzac soldiers huddle in their dugouts, sheltering for a moment in this place so far from home. In the midst of the fighting, the music of a violin swirls around the weary men, shifting their thoughts back to summer picnics and happier times. A true story of a rescued violin and an extraordinary musician, Otago’s Alexander Aitken, told by award-winning author-illustrator duo, Jennifer Beck and Robyn Belton.

My review: An exquisite book with such beautiful illustrations that it almost brings the story to life! A simple Anzac story of a young soldier’s journey into battle and the violin her carried. Despite sudden injuries, and Alex having to go into hospital, his violin journeyed further and finally came home. What was poignant for me were the maps and ephemera printed on to the end papers as they added an extra depth and meaning to the book. Not only did this story bring the fact that it was all true sharply into focus, but that this was a true story of a New Zealand Anzac soldier. A great read!!

My rating: 5 ⭐

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