Glyn Harper, a Professor of War studies, is no stranger to untangling the complexities of conflict. A highly respected military historian, Glyn’s career includes time in the military and time in the trenches teaching school children. He believes passionately that children need compelling stories to get them ‘hooked on history’.
In My Grandfather’s War, Harper has teamed up with Jenny Cooper to create a compassionate and poignant story about a Vietnam veteran and his relationship with his granddaughter. Harper and Cooper have won awards for their work independently, as well as for their collaborations together. In their deft hands they delicately deliver the story of a child and her grandfather, a man touched by the pain of his war service. Curious to find out the cause of her grandfather’s unhappiness the child innocently seeks answers, and in doing so unknowingly opens old wounds. She discovers her grandfather’s sadness is a legacy of the Vietnam War and his experiences there.
This is a sensitive exploration of the lingering cost of war and of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so many returned servicemen experience. Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Khe Sanh, the Vietnam War’s longest battle, it also sheds light on a war that is not always remembered in the same way that the world wars and other conflicts are. Many who served experience a sense of betrayal at the treatment they received on their return, as the conflict came to be regarded as the ‘unpopular’ war, and this is covered in a child friendly way in a note at the back of the book.
Glyn Harper is a highly regarded military historian and an award winning author of books for both children and adults. He taught English and History before joining the military, during which time he also completed his PhD, and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
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