Louis Jullian and his older brother Thomas are on holiday in Sarajevo, enjoying the privileges of life in a diplomat's family.
But the peace is shattered as a bomb explodes and the heir to the Austrian Empire is assassinated in front of their eyes.
As Europe descends into war, Louis convinces his parents to let him go to the front as a war correspondent.
Sent to northern France, Louis witnesses the war's first battles and the beginning of trench warfare.
His friends - from Australia, England, France, Austria, Russia - join the war effort too, with - and against - each other.
Louis is the son of a French diplomat and an Australian mother. Louis loves to take photographs and his older brother Thomas is a writer.
So when they are nearby when the Archduke Ferdinand is in Sarajevo and they both witness the initial bombing and the Archduke’s assassination, Louis’ photograph is sent around the world.
As one of Louis’ ears is damaged in the bombing, he cannot enlist when the war breaks out and he soon becomes a war correspondent.
This places him in many situations that give us a first-hand look of the reality of, and the reasons for, the outbreak of the First World War.
A timely book given the 100th anniversary of the assassination has recently passed, with great characters and many links to Australia, ideally suited to middle school students (Years 5 - 8).
Reviewed by Rob