"On the Western Front alone, more than a half million men lost their lives in 1916. Second Lieutenant Alfred Joubaire, serving with the French 124th Regiment at Verdun, made the following entry in his diary on May 23, 1916: 'Humanity is mad! It must be mad to do what it is doing. What a massacre. What scenes of horror and carnage! I cannot find words to translate my impressions. Hell cannot be so terrible. Men are mad!'
That was the last entry in Alfred Joubaire's diary. That day, or possibly the next, his life was ended by a German shell. He was twenty-one."
from The War to End All Wars: World War I, by Russell Freedman, Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. 192 pages.
Freedman's first-rate, must-read history of the First World War is a nominee in the Cybils' middle grade/young adult nonfiction category. Recommended ages: 12 and older.