Tag archives for War
BOOK NAME: War Stories: True Stories from the First & Second World Wars
AUTHOR: Paul Dowswell
I have always had a passion for history but sometimes it can be a challenge to find history books suited for my age. You know what I mean, I’d find a gargantuan book that would put me to sleep in seconds. Well, I found a book that is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about the First and Second World Wars, or just wants to read about some cool true stories. This book explained both world wars very well so even if you already know a lot about them, you would still get a good understanding of what went on.
The stories had a nice variety and wonderful illustrations to start each one. Each story was very inspiring in its own way. I especially liked the one about when Christmas came on the front lines. Apparently all the soldiers in the trenches really wanted to celebrate. So the two opposing sides spontaneously came together to sing Christmas carols and play games. This story shows how with mutual understanding, obstacles can be overcome further conflict possibly prevented. I also really liked how they put the outcomes of the wars into perspective and they truly affected the people, the countries, and how it continues to affect all of us today.
This book is suitable for anyone who loves history and wants to learn more about it. Itmakes history fun, interesting, and easy to understand for kids and just about anyone else who picks it up. I really recommend this book for any kid. Happy reading!
BOOK NAME: A Thunderous Whisper
AUTHOR: Christina Diaz Gonzales
Ani was never important. She was always a quiet, insignificant little girl. Her mother, a short-tempered sardine seller, called her neska. At first, Ani thought this was an affectionate nickname. Yet then she found out it just meant girl. People often made fun of her for being the daughter of the sardinera (sardine seller). Growing up during Spain’s Civil War, Ani didn’t have an easy life. Her father was away, bravely fighting for Guernica, the city Ani lived in.
After years having no friends, Mathias moves into town. He is a young, free-spirited boy, who has a limping problem and walks with a makila, a walking stick. Could Mathias be her first friend? Ani is curious to know what the story behind his family is. After all, who would move to Guernica during this dangerous time? After a movie theatre mishap, Mathias discovers that his father is a spy! Suddenly, a world of promise is before him and Ani. They have the chance to help Mathias’s father and his spy group on their missions. Through many lies and confusing envelopes, the two friends succeed in their missions.
Yet on one terrible day, Guernica is bombed. The village is destroyed, and many are killed. Ani and Mathias manage to survive, but they lose everything. Their world is turned upside down. Left as orphans, they cannot get over the pain of losing their parents and all of their loved ones. Padre Inaki, the kind priest of the village’s church, takes Ani and Mathias into his home. They help his wife take care of all of the injured survivors. But wait- there is hope! Ani reunites with her father, but she must break the news to him that his wife has been killed. And her father cannot stay for long. He must return to continue fighting.
Through helping those in need, Ani and Mathias realize that they can make a difference, far beyond their own village.
I really enjoyed this book. I have to admit- I almost cried during certain parts of it. There are some chapters that may be intense for young children, and I would therefore recommend it to anyone ages 12 and up. Ani and Mathias’s courage is simply inspiring.
BOOK NAME: Elephant Run
AUTHOR: Roland Smith
Nick Freestone is a young teen living in a time when the world is at war. Due to the fact that the city he resides in, London, is being bombed by German bombers constantly, Nick’s mother decides to send him off to Burma where his father manages a teak plantation. Nick feels that he will be safe in Burma halfway around the world and is ready to learn about the world of mahouts (elephant handlers) and teak harvesting. At the plantation, he befriends Mya, a girl his age, and the legendary elephant monk Hilltop.
Everything seems to fare well for Nick until the day the Japanese invade the country. Japanese troops overrun the plantation and hold the villagers hostage. Nick’s father and several other plantation workers are sent off to a labor camp while the rest (including Nick) are held in captivity at the plantation. As Nick adapts to harsh life in the Japanese-occupied plantation, he is forced to play the role of servant and suffers from the abuse of Bukong, the plantation’s former chef who is a Burmese collaborator with the Japanese. Eventually, he and Mya cannot tolerate the Japanese occupation of the country any longer and secretly plan to escape the plantation and rescue their imprisoned family members with the assistance of Hilltop. The two know that escape is nearly impossible. Japanese soldiers control the entire countryside and the jungle wilderness is an inhospitable place. Despite the risk of capture and punishment, nothing will stop Nick and Mya as they embark on a dangerous journey to free themselves from the Japanese.
Elephant Run by Roland Smith is one of the best books he has ever written that is intended for younger audiences. The book combines history, cultural studies, and nature, and is a unique book with something for everyone. Elephant Run takes an in-depth look at Burma during WWII and tells the story of Nick’s experiences living in a wartime Japanese-occupied Burma. I appreciate the fact that Smith examines an uncommon, “backwater” front of the war that is not as studied as the other famous fronts of the Second World War. The story’s background settings will allow readers to know what life was like for the Burmese as they were subjugated and dominated by the Japanese including labor conditions and the dangers of disobeying the military authorities. Roland Smith’s book also takes a fascinating look at the culture and wildlife of Burma. He accurately describes the clothes that the Burmese wear (skirt-like clothing known as a Longyi), the diverse wildlife of the country, the inside of a traditional Burmese home, the trade of a mahout (elephant handler), and other aspects of Burma.
I especially enjoyed the plot, which was fraught with suspense, action, and memorable characters. I’m pretty sure that Elephant Run could be made into a film, because the action never seemed to cease for even a moment! Elephant Run is an excellent read for any historical fiction fans, and I’d give it a 9.5/10. This book is simply brilliant and creative, and will not fail to satisfy!
BOOK NAME: All the Broken Pieces
AUTHOR: Ann E. Burg
This book is historical fiction about a 10 year old boy who was airlifted out of Vietnam during the war. Now twelve years old, Matt has to adjust to American culture, his adoptive family, and his schoolmates. It is even harder for him because of the terrible memories that came with him to America. He has many feelings of loss, pain, and the horrors of war. He tries to deny them, but he must accept them so he can forgive himself. It takes him a long time to be able to experience the pain of the events again. To pretend that he are not scarred just makes it worse for Matt. At one point, Matt goes to a group where veterans who went to Vietnam come and share their experiences. I thought the veterans would not like Matt because of the bad memories he represents. Instead, they saw him as a symbol of why they fought that war and were very supportive of him. It really gave Matt a chance to accept what had happened in his homeland.
I hadn’t known much about the war before I read this book, but I understand more about it now. It isn’t really about the war itself but about the effect it had on the people who lived there. While reading, you see some of the fears that kids who are adopted in a new country can face. The book is written verse, or poetry style, so it goes by quickly. It is a slight tear jerker but is very well worth the read. If you don’t like sad stories, then just get a tissue box and bear through it because it is an amazing book. It’s another Rebecca Caudill nominee, so it’s guaranteed good reading!
BOOK NAME: Washington City is Burning
AUTHOR: Harriette Gillem Robinet
Virginia of Madison worked as a slave at Montpelier. One day, an old slave man, named Tobias, came to Montpelier to take Virginia in his carriage. She found out she would work at the White House, to President James and Miss Dolley Madison. Later Virginia was to find out that Tobias needed her to go on secret missions and help free her people.
Virginia was not off to a great start the day she arrived at the White House. There was a slave woman, named Rosetta Bell, who hated Virginia, and did the best she could to get her into trouble. Virginia never knew why Rosetta hated her. Weeks later, Virginia started to go on secret missions, bringing slaves to freedom.
Great Britain got into a fight with Washington City, and one day, only one word could be heard in the streets. “War!” Everyone began to flee from Washington City, including Miss Dolley. Virginia stayed behind, though. She watched as the British came and burned everything down, even the White House! After the war, Miss Dolley came back home. The British would soon board ships to Alexandria, and slaves could go along to freedom. Now Virginia had a choice. Would she stay there? Or would she leave Tobias, Aunt Sally, and Miss Dolley, and go to freedom?
I really loved this book. I read it in school. The book was so interesting! My favorite character was Virginia, such a young girl with so much bravery.
BOOK NAME: A Time of Miracles
AUTHOR: Anne Laure Bondoux
The book A Time of Miracles by Anne Laure Bondoux is a great book, although it is not a book for all ages. I would say that it is a book for ages 11 and up.
Little Koumail, or “Mr. Blaise” as Gloria nicknamed him, had only lived through times of war and violence. His vision of the world was a harsh, dirty, violent place. Komail and Gloria, who was not his real mother, traveled from one refugee camp to another, trying to escape the collapse of the Soviet Union. “Who is Gloria, if she is not his real mother?” you may ask. Well, when Gloria was at the train station one day, many years before, there was a big accident. As Gloria tried to help everyone, she saw this lady in the corner, almost dying. The lady said to her, “Take my child, for I am not sure if I will survive.” Gloria took the baby and raised him as her son. In this book, you will take part in Gloria and Komail’s journey, as they try to reach the ultimate freedom in France. But at the end of the book, Gloria reveals Komail’s real story. It’s a very shocking thing, to find out that Gloria lied to him all these years. You’ll just have to read the book to accompany Gloria and Komail on their amazing travels, and find out what the true story is.
I really liked this book. Some parts may be a bit difficult to understand. You can do what I did. I asked my mom. My favorite thing about this book was how little Komail survived his childhood. It made me realize how lucky I am that I live in a peaceful time. I think Anne Laure Bondoux is a great writer. Her writing style keeps you curious to know more about the story! Something I thought was very interesting about the book was that every three or four pages was a new chapter! It’s just a type of writing I’m not used to. There was even a chapter that was only two paragraphs long! I recommend this book to anyone 11 and over.