I want to just put a billion tears on this review for The Eleventh Hour. OMG! This book is NOT for the sensitive reader. It is a picture book (due in paper mid-August 2023; read via an online reader copy), but I do not know one child I would give this, too. With that said, it might be an interesting book for a classroom doing World War One or Canadian history, or for any Veteran’s Day events.
The story is about two friends, Jim and Jules. Best friends since they were born, practically. And though Jules is always two minutes behind, which means he gets into trouble a lot, Jim is always there. Until two minutes before the official end of the fighting. The ideas in the story are interesting. The two men do not understand the politics of things, but know their country needs them. They sign up to fight the monstrous Germans! But they see war is not glorious charges, the German prisoners are not monsters, but pathetic looking really, that the repetition of being attacked, returning fire and switching positions ridiculous. They know that “those who survive” will do it again tomorrow. They are scared. They have lice and rats, but they do their jobs. They are soldiers.
One of the most powerful parts of the story is that Jacques Goldstyn does not sugar coat things but is not gratuitous either. They come out and say that war sucks, but still appropriate for older listeners/readers. The art is where things are 50/50 for me. I liked them, but not all the time. Or I liked a piece of one. They are as the cover shows, a cartoon-like image but one that is hiding something underneath. However, I cannot say much else about the book, it is a “you must read to take away what you need to” book. I would say this book, while dedicated to the official last man to die at 10:58 AM, is not totally prowar, but also not completely antiwar either.