One Minute’s Silence

David Metzenthen, Michael Camilleri

One Minute's Silence
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One Minute’s Silence

David Metzenthen, Michael Camilleri

In one minute of silence you can imagine sprinting up the beach in Gallipoli in 1915 with the fierce fighting Diggers, but can you imagine standing beside the brave battling Turks as they defended their homeland from the cliffs above…

In the silence that follows a war long gone, you can see what the soldiers saw, you can feel what the soldiers felt. And if you try, you might be able to imagine the enemy, and see that he is not so different from you…

In One Minute’s Silence, you are the story, and the story is yours - to imagine, remember and honour the brothers in arms on both sides of the conflict, heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives. A moving and powerful reflection on the meaning of Remembrance Day.


The clever juxtaposition of placing contemporary young adults in a depiction of Australian troops landing at Gallipoli makes this moving book even more powerful. Sitting through a minute’s silence on Remembrance Day, a class imagines the horrors of war, picturing themselves in that experience. What makes this book exceptional is that the students contemplate both the Australian and Turkish perspective. Michael Camilleri’s extraordinary graphic portrayal adds gravitas to the ominous and heartbreaking futility of war, and you feel that David Metzenthen has poured his heart and soul into creating this profound work. This is a picture book for older readers, aged 10 and up.

Alexa Dretzke is a Children’s & YA Book Specialist at Readings Hawthorn.

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