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
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
I am not an expert in battle history nor even early modern world history. That said, I’ve always been fascinated by Waterloo due to its appearance in many familiar novels that I’ve enjoyed such as Les Miserables and Vanity Fair. Waterloo seems to have been a defining moment for European history, and Waterloo by Alan Forrest does an amazing job of explain just why it has become so.
Alan Forrest’s Waterloo is not a strict history of the battle itself. Rather, Waterloo examines how Napoleon got to Waterloo, what happened during the battle itself, and then what the impact of Waterloo has been since that time. Only one single chapter discussed the battle itself! Because so much of the book was about the impact, I really enjoyed reading the book.Continue Reading
Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse (1991) is a coming-of-age story, this time dealing with a 12-year-old Russian immigrant traveling alone. But Rifka is not an ordinary traveler. She expects to do “everything” once she reaches America, but first she has to get there. When sickness keeps her behind, she learn to survive on her own, hoping all the while it will work out. Rifka must overcome disease, forgive the Russians she encounters who would have persecuted her back in her home country, and also find her purpose in life as she travels to America.Continue Reading