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Children's Nonfiction Military & Wars

The Unknown Soldier

by (author) Linda Granfield

Scholastic Canada Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2008
Military & Wars
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2008
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 18
  • Grade: 4 to 8


In the aftermath of the First World War, countries mourned their fallen sons, brothers, husbands, and fathers.

In 1920, in both France and England, memorials were erected to those lost heroes who had remained anonymous. Around the world other countries followed suit, each country creating it's own version of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Now, award-winning author Linda Granfield presents her own tribute to these fallen soldiers. Taking readers on a journey to the Tombs in more than a dozen countries, Ms. Granfield shares over 100 photos and images that ultimately reveal a timeless lesson: this November and every November we must remember those who served — both known and unknown.

About the author

Linda Granfield has won many awards for her non-fiction/history titles for young readers and adults including the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. Her books include In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae, Pier 21: Gateway of Hope, Canada Votes and America Votes. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Linda Granfield's profile page


  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Award (Atlantic Canada)
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets
  • Commended, Resource Links, Best of the Year

Librarian Reviews

The Unknown Soldier

War Memorials – History Award-winning author Linda Granfield explores a little-known aspect of war in this attractive, thought-provoking look at soldiers who perished as “unknowns” during twentieth century conflicts. During World War I, many of the dead were buried quickly where they fell, with temporary wooden markers on their graves. After the war, their remains were buried with more care, but because their identity often could not be confirmed, they were buried with a marker that said, “A Soldier of the Great War – Known to God.” The same situation occurred during World War II and the Korean War.

In 1920, France was the first country to honour its unidentified war dead by selecting one unknown soldier and burying him in a vault under the Arc de Triomphe. England soon followed with the burial of an unknown in Westminster Abbey. Canada selected an unknown soldier for repatriation in 2000; he was buried at the base of the National War Memorial in Ottawa. Granfield explores similar memorials in more than 14 countries around the world. She also discusses common symbols and other forms of remembrance attached to these memorials, and includes a timeline, glossary and index.

Granfield’s passion for her subject shines through in her powerful and moving text. She conveys the great significance attached to these memorials to the “unknowns.” As in her other warrelated books, her research is thorough and her prose is thoughtful and heartfelt. The book is full of historical and contemporary photographs and is attractively designed, with a single or double-page spread on each country. This is a worthy addition to Granfield’s collection of war-themed titles.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2008. Vol.31 No.4.

The Unknown Soldier

“Loved and were loved, and now we lie / In Flanders fields.” Learn how unknown soldiers are honoured worldwide with monuments, memorials, tombs, tributes and symbols. See how genetic identification leads to fewer “unknowns.” Includes photos, artwork, glossary, index and timeline.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

Other titles by Linda Granfield