Posts tagged ‘World War II’

A STORY THAT MUST BE TOLD

Holocaust Survivor
Dan Myers, Author, and Editor
Virginia Weinkratz, Narrator

This is not a book for the feint-hearted. The author relates her personal experience as a young 22-year-old Jewish girl growing up in Poland. She communicates the heartache of suddenly being torn from family and community to live a life of fear and uncertainty. Trapped between the German and Soviet forces, the family fees struggling to remain together. Once captured, the men and women are quickly separated. Regina and her mother are torn from her father and male siblings. They are moved from the ghetto to Auschwitz where Regina loses her mother and befriends Elka. Regina describes in graphic detail the physical, mental and emotional atrocities of prison life. Then she is marched to Majdanek, where she remains close to death until “liberated.” Two-thirds of the Jewish population as well as many whom the Nazis viewed as undesirables would be wiped out during World War II.

This book is recommended for young adult and adult audiences who are prepared to read about one of the darkest events in history.

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NEW YORK CITY BLOCKBUSTER TRILOGY

http://amzn.to/2oPu3LY

http://Littlemisshistory.com


So excited to announce that my newest book, The Adventures of Little Miss HISTORY, Volume 1 is now available on amazon and independent bookstores. This book contains three of Miss HISTORY’S New York City adventures to The STATUE OF LIBERTY, ELLIS ISLAND, and INTREPID Sea, Air & Space Museum. Now readers have the opportunity to travel along with their favorite wannabe park ranger to three destinations in one book! Witness in beautiful illustrations and easy to read text the origin, design, construction and significance of the Statue of Liberty. Walk along the path of the immigrants as they land on the shores of America for the first time at Ellis Island and take part in their experience. Step on the aircraft carrier that participated in World War II, the Vietnam War, the space age and the war on terror. Get immersed in hands-on history. I invite you to come aboard and experience a journey back in time.

A SECOND CHANCE

Guardian:Where a Dream is Challenged “An World War II Plane Who Decides To Never Give Up”

Written by Greer Alexis Bacon

Guardian,pic

Guardian is a WWII plane who is relating her story in first person. She goes back in time to tell how she met her pilot and together they valiantly fought. One day her fuel tank leaks; Guardian succeeds in getting her pilot down alive. Now that the war is over, she finds herself in a scrap metal junkyard and wonders what became of her pilot. While the rest of the planes are resigned to their fate, Guardian hopes that she will one day fly again, but day after day planes disappear from the yard to be sold for scrap metal.

One day the gate opens to a new owner. The planes will be repaired and sent to various museums. Guardian rejoices that her optimism has proven true, but what has happened to that soldier who once flew and loved her?

Targeted for audiences five and older, this approximately twenty-five page book is really a beginning reader chapter book. There are a few simple, but attractive, illustrations. This book is a well-written sweet story embedding elements of history. While I enjoyed the plot, I noted typos and editing errors on the cover and inside the kindle text edition. If not for these, I would have given the book five stars. I would still recommend it, especially for children who are early readers interested in planes or history.

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POIGNANT AND POWERFUL

Ever the Patriot: Recollections of Vincent J. Riccio World War II Veteran and POW

Edited by Candace Riccio Salem

EverthePatriot,pic

This book is told in first person based on the experiences of Vincent J. Riccio and edited by his daughter. It begins with the attack on Pearl Harbor and Riccio’s subsequent draft a few months later. Riccio began his service as an aviation mechanic in Mississippi. The first part of the book focuses on his hi jinks and pranks with his buddies as a young soldier. But Riccio wanted to fly; he eventually manages to get training as an aviator. After being sent to Horhem in England, Riccio flew combat missions over Germany. On the Luduigshafen mission, his plane was shot down. Riccio parachuted to safety, but eventually was taken prisoner by the Germans.

The second part of the story focuses on his imprisonment in POW camps and resourcefulness in surviving the Black Hunger March. As the war came closer to its end, Riccio uses his ingenuity to obtain weapons, food and German prisoners. Down to 84 pounds when he was freed from captivity, Riccio warms the reader’s heart when he relates his elation at seeing the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor upon his return to America. I think the gist of the book is best summarized in his own words, “You learn about people, you learn about human nature. You learn what the human body can take. The ones that couldn’t take it, didn’t make it.”

This story contains the gamut of human emotions; Riccio is at once the boy next door and a war hero. He does not judge, but simply tells it like it is. Recommended for teens and adults interested in history and human behavior.

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HOPE FOR TOMORROW

Let The Celebrations Begin!

Written by Margaret Wild

Illustrated by Julie Vivas

letthecelebrations, pic

I received this book as a prize in a book promotion. What a pleasant surprise! The author tackles a subject usually considered verboten for young children and turns it into a beautiful lesson of hope rather than sorrow.

Although the publisher targets the book for readers age four and up, I feel that it is most appropriate for children in grades two and up. Children will immediately have questions when they see the characters depicted wearing rags and little or no hair. Miriam is the narrator who tells the reader she lives in Hut 22, Bed 18. The setting is a Holocaust camp for Polish women in Belsen. She is collecting rags and scraps of clothing from the prisoners to make toys for David and Sarah, two children who have never seen a toy. There’s no food in the camp, but Miriam is sure that the allied soldiers will come to liberate them soon. By the time the soldiers arrive, the toys are finally ready and the celebrations begin.

Wild does a remarkable job of telling her story, tempering the horror with Miriam’s spirit of optimism and courage. Children can be introduced to the Holocaust theme without the horror and violence being graphically displayed. Highly recommended for parents and teachers of children age seven and older.

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COURAGEOUS AND LOYAL

Heart of a Hero

Written by Billi Tiner

HeartofaHero,pic

This book is a portrait of a loyal and brave Irish Setter, inspired by the author’s childhood family dog. As a pup, Lady wanted nothing more than to emulate her mother, who was a prize hunting dog.  Carl, a teenage farmhand, develops an affinity for her, and Lady is elated when her owner Mr. Thompson sends her to live with Carl. At first life is wonderful, then World War II breaks out; and Carl leaves for battle. Carl never returns. A friend suggests to Carl’s dad that the Marines are looking for war dogs, and Lady is offered up as a candidate. After rigorous training and many adventures with new dog friends Scout and Fancy, Lady is sent to the Pacific with her human handlers, Tim and Steve. Lady succeeds in becoming a war messenger dog. She will prove herself a worthy hero.

After the war things return to normal for a while, but Lady has battle scars and her new owner will make a decision that does not include her. More uncertainty for Lady and a dramatic change in life circumstances again. Will Lady find peace, dignity and happiness in her final years?

This book makes a great read for middle grade students. It deals with complex issues in a plot that is simply laid out and easy to follow. Loyalty, bravery, courage, coming of age, bullying, and family relationships are explored. The characters are well developed; the reader can identify with Lady as she narrates the story from her point of view. I do think the plot moves a bit slowly in sections, but that may be due to the fact that the reader is eager to see what happens next. Recommended for dog lovers, history lovers and anyone who enjoys a good family read. Available in kindle and paperback editions.

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LEARNING TO LEAD

Winston Churchill: The Inspiring Story and Lessons of Winston Churchill

Written by Anthony Taylor

Churchill,pic

This book is an interesting reflection on the life of Winston Churchill. Make no mistake; this book is not a comprehensive biography or a carefully researched historical document, but it does provide insight into a passionate leader who was able to lead Great Britain to victory over the Nazi threat. The focus of the book is to use Churchill as an example in studying the steps and strategies necessary to become a successful leader.

Taylor reveals the challenges faced by Churchill’s lack of support from his wealthy parents who viewed him as a failure as well as his disastrous stint as Lord of the Admiralty and removal from office due to his failed naval strategy during World War I. Over the years, Churchill faced political ups and downs; he did not hesitate to switch political parties when they supported causes to which he was morally opposed. He gained first hand battle experience as a war correspondent and was taken as prisoner. He became a prolific writer, securing the Nobel Prize for Literature after the war in 1953. Churchill realized that knowing oneself was the key to inspiring people. He succeeded in this even though he had to overcome a speech impediment to do so. Winston did not know how to admit defeat; he preferred bloodshed and living with the consequences.

The crux of this book comes in chapter six in which Taylor outlines the ten life lessons to be learned from Winston Churchill. He lists them and provides examples of how Churchill used these attributes to maximum potential. These include: courage, learning from one’s mistakes, faith and persistence, good leadership skills, patience, experience, positive attitude, inspiration, knowing oneself, and patriotism. Taylor urges every reader who sees himself as a potential leader in his field to use Churchill’s life as an inspiration to follow.

I would recommend this book in particular for tweens and teens who are interested in learning more about the period between World War I through World War II. Critics who say that the book is not a carefully researched historical document or a biography in the technical sense are correct, but I believe that this short piece is an excellent supplement for teachers who want children to go beyond studying the facts to understand better the motivations and actions of Churchill during the period.

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