As in his other photographic history books (Abraham Lincoln being the most well known to me), in We Will Not Be Silent, Russell Freedman tells a true story with the added addition of photographs to give the characters life. In this case, he shares about the brave students in Germany who stood up to Hitler, Hans and Sophie Scholl. The Scholl children published anti-Nazi brochures and worked to spread the understanding of the danger of Hitler’s policies. Ultimately, they paid for their bravery with their lives.Continue Reading
Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin captures the days before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 for four very different children: a girl whose mother travels to New York, a Muslim girl, a boy who lives in New York, and a boy who lives Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Two days before, all four children’s paths cross as they wait for their airplane in Chicago, and their paths cross once more when they all attend the Ground Zero memorial in New York City the following year, September 11, 2002.Continue Reading
We recently listened to an amazing audiobook that surprised me by its depth and language. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin is a Newbery Honor book for good reason. By weaving Chinese traditional folktale into a modern story about a girl living in poverty, Ms Lin creates a fairy tale odyssey that stands tall as a modern classic. Her own illustrations add further character to the richness of the tale. A dragon, a mysterious “old man of the moon,” beautiful mountain villages, and riddles she does not understand give Min Li an adventure that most children will delight in.Continue Reading
Trapped Behind Nazi Lines by Eric Brown is a middle grade nonfiction book about a company of medics and nurses that, while flying to Italy during World War II, got lost in the clouds and ended up crash landing in Nazi-occupied Albania.
The story tells how upon crash landing their airplane, they were able to find a way to villages and walk from where they landed to the coast, avoiding the Nazis and the Nazi sympathizers that would have killed them upon discovery. Their story was truly amazing. More than 20 people were trapped in Albania in this crash, and yet none of them died and none of them were captured by Nazis. It took a long time to sneak to the coast safely, but all of them were able to return to Italy during the war.Continue Reading