Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 11th – Remembrance Day

For the last couple of weeks I’ve focused on several non-fiction books about World War II.

For today’s post I decided to look at fictional titles instead that see what was going on the home front. Staying behind also had its trials and tribulations in addition to the never-ending missing and worrying about loved ones involved more directly in the conflict overseas.

Picture books
Across the blue Pacific by Louise Borden (823 B6438A2 PIC BK)
Molly and Sam write letters to a young navel officer (a neighbour’s son) who they idolize while he’s away fighting in the Second World War. They are devastated when his submarine is reported missing. Suggested for grades 3 to 6.

Flags by Maxine Trottier (823 T756F PIC BK)
Being of Japanese descent in Canada or the US during the Second World War was a horrendous time. Mr. Hiroshi is a kind man who created a beautiful garden that fascinates the little girl next door. She promises to look after it and the koi fish in his pond when he is taken away to live out the war in a concentration camp. Suggested for grades 3-6.

Pennies in a jar by Dori Chaconas (823 C344P PIC BK)
With his father off fighting in the war, a small boy overcomes his fear of horses to have his picture taken sitting on one as a tribute to father’s words of advice “If something is important enough, you just have to do it…Even if you’re scared.” Depicts what life was like during the war years with an afterword explaining why horses were used instead of trucks and what the shortage of goods meant for people living at home. Suggested for grades 1-5.

The Green glass sea by Ellen Klages (823 K661G FIC)
I really enjoyed this story about Dewey Kerrigan, the child of a scientist involved with a secret project for the American government. She’s a bit of inventor herself which makes her an oddity with the kids she goes to school with. Another look at life during this time in the U.S. and more specifically of a community involved in the development of the atomic bomb. Suggested for grades 5-8.

A Kind of courage by Colleen Heffernan (823 H3585K FIC)
This is a story of World War I and I included it here because it reflected a different aspect of war on the home front. What if you don’t want to fight in the war because it’s against everything you believe in? A conscientious objector does not have an easy time of it working on the farm of a family who has a son fighting in the war. Suggested for grades 8 and up.

The Sky is falling by Kit Pearson (823 P317S FIC)
British children were sent to Canada during World War II as a way to protect them from German bombs. Norah and Gavin are transported to another world experiencing the turmoil of living away from home, starting in a new school, making friends with kids who tease, and adapting to living with a new family. First in a trilogy. Suggested for grades 4-7.

Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas (823 D161T 2007 FIC)
This was such a good ‘read’. I listened to this as an audio book and thought it was brilliant. A farm family is forced to look for hired help with Japanese Americans interred in a nearby camp. It’s controversial within the community and when a young girl is murdered suspicions fall on the camp residents. The relationship between the family and their helpers grows stronger and thirteen year-old Rennie learns much about discrimination, loyalty and sacrifice. Suggested for grades 10 and up.


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