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The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

Posted by Sherry on 3/28/2017 in 1944, History, Movies, Nonfiction, Poland, World War II |

I read The Zookeeper’s Wife back in 2008 and wrote about it on Semicolon. Since the book is set to become a movie at the end of March, here are my thoughts on the book at the time I read it. *********** Jan Zabinski was the Polish director of the Warsaw Zoo in 1939 when […]

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Aim by Joyce Moyer Hostetter

Posted by Sherry on 1/25/2017 in 1941, 1942, 2016, Children's Fiction, General, World War II |

Aim is a prequel to Ms. Hostetter’s two books about Ann Fay Honeycutt, Blue and Comfort. Aim is about Junior Bledsoe, a secondary, but beloved, character in those other two books. (Ann Fay is the minor character in this one.) The story takes place in 1941-1942. Fourteen year old Junior Bledsoe of Hickory, North Carolina […]

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The Three-Year Swim Club by Julie Checkoway

Posted by Sherry on 8/30/2016 in 1937, 1938, 1939, General, Nonfiction, World War II |

The Three-Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui’s Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory by Julie Checkoway. “For readers of Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat comes the inspirational, untold story of impoverished children who transformed themselves into world-class swimmers.” The author, Julie Checkoway, is a National Endowment for the […]

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The Chequer Board by Nevil Shute

Posted by Sherry on 7/24/2016 in 1947, Adult Fiction, Around the World, Burma, Historical fiction, World War II |

I have had this book on my TBR list for a few years, but I haven’t been able to find a copy anywhere, not in my big city library system, not at the local used bookstores. So when I found a copy at the Blooms’ little bookstore, I was delighted. Britisher Nevil Shute (Norway) is […]

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A Year of Borrowed Men by Michelle Barker

1944. Not all World War 2 stories, even those about prisoners, are about concentration camps and horror and death. Even those stories that exist in the shadow of death and destruction can be human and hopeful. A Year of Borrowed Men is one such hopeful war story about kindness and friendship. Seven yer old Gerda’s […]

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The Bomber’s Moon by Betty Vander Els

Posted by Sherry on 3/22/2016 in 1942, Children's Fiction, China, General, World War II |

This fictional treatment of missionary children escaping World War II China reads almost like a memoir. In a brief search on the internet, I couldn’t find any information about the author, Betty Vander Els, but I would almost bet that this story is a fictionalized version of her own experiences or those of a very […]

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Silence Over Dunkerque by John Tunis

Posted by Sherry on 2/24/2016 in 1940, Adult Fiction, Historical fiction, World War II, Young Adult Fiction |

Mr. Tunis was known as “the inventor of the modern sports story.” He wrote numerous sports novels featuring young baseball players and young football players, but her did not consider himself a “children’s writer”, even though his publishers insisted on marketing his books to young people. Since there was no separate “young adult” publishing sector […]

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Hidden Gold by Ella Burakowski

Posted by Sherry on 11/20/2015 in 1943, Biography/Memoir, Poland, World War II |

I find Holocaust memoirs to be somewhat variable in quality and readability. Maybe the memoirist’s memories are not that detailed or reliable. Sometimes the person who has undertaken the task of writing the stories down is just not a great writer. Sometimes the reader may be the problem: I’m not immune to the chilling effect […]

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Unlikely Warrior by Georg Rauch

Posted by Sherry on 10/21/2015 in 1943, 1944, 1945, General, Nonfiction, World War II |

Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler’s Army by Georg Rauch. Because Austrian Georg Rauch had a Jewish grandmother, making him one quarter Jewish blood (whatever that means), he was not made an officer in the army of the Third Reich. However, Rauch’s Jewish ancestry didn’t prevent him from being drafted into the German army […]

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Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Posted by Sherry on 10/20/2015 in 1943, 1944, 1945, General, Nonfiction, World War II |

Unbroken: An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive, Adapted for Young Adults by Laura Hillenbrand. I first read Unbroken, the life history of Olympic runner and prisoner of war in Japan, Louis Zamperini, in 2011, about four years ago. I was astounded and moved by this man’s story then, and as I’ve read […]

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