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Category Archives: Historical

A Night Divided

Title: A Night Divided
Author: Jennifer Nielsen
Series: N/A
Recommended for:
Pages: 317 pages
Call Number/Link: J FICTION NIELSEN, J.

Synopsis: When the Berlin Wall went up, Gerta, her mother, and her brother Fritz are trapped on the eastern side where they were living, while her father, and her other brother Dominic are in the West–four years later, now twelve, Gerta sees her father on a viewing platform on the western side and realizes he wants her to risk her life trying to tunnel to freedom.

A neighbor told me that I needed to read this book, he was right.  I have read other books by the author and like her writing style. Before reading this book, I knew very little on the subject. This has prompted me to read more.  The story allowed you to see how the government pitted everyone against each other.  My only complaint is that realistically Gerta would have been caught right away.  I didn’t feel that she hid what she was doing all that well.  This book did make me want to learn more about true stories of people crossing.

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Posted by on September 30, 2017 in Historical, Juv

 

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Thornhill

Title:   Thornhill
Author:   Pam Smy
Series:   —
Recommended for:  older tweens and teens who like creepy books
Pages:   533 pages
Call Number/Link:   J FICTION SMY, P.

Rating:   ****

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Parallel plotlines set in different times, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.

1982:  Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it’s shutting its doors.  When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary and on Thornhill itself.

2016:  Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one.  From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window.  Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s shadowy past.

Comments:

Some colleagues were surprised that I chose to read this book since I don’t usually read creepy, scary books.

As it works out, I was less scared than horrified by the book.  I was really troubled by the cruelty of the bullying that the girl from the eighties experienced, and that the orphanage’s primary caregivers truly didn’t care.  The girl obviously needed psychological help, as did the bully.

I did not get a complete picture of the contemporary girl’s situation.  I could see that she and her father had moved to a new place where she didn’t have any friends.  Her mother isn’t with them and the father works so many hours that the girl is, for all intensive purposes, an abandoned child.

There was no way that this book could end well….

 

But now for the biggest mystery of all:  should we move to book to Teen Fiction or keep it in J Fiction?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Historical, Historical, Horror, Juv, Scary, Teen

 

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The Great Trouble

Title: The Great Trouble
Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Series:NA
Recommended for: 4th grade and up
Pages: 272
Call Number/Link:  The Great Trouble

Synopsis: Equal parts medical mystery, historical novel, and survival story about the 1854 London cholera outbreak, this introduces Eel, a boy trying to make ends meet on Broad Street. When he visits one of his regular employers, he learns the man has fallen ill. Eel enlists the help of Dr. Snow, and together they work to solve the mystery of what exactly is causing the spread of cholera and how they can prevent it. Steeped in rich fact and detailed explanations about laboratory research, Hopkinson’s book uses a fictional story to teach readers about science, medicine, and history—and works in a few real-life characters, too. Eel serves as a peek into the lower class of London society and offers readers a way to observe—and, hopefully, ask questions about—the scientific method. An author’s note provides readers with a look at the real story behind the novel, making this a great choice for introducing readers to science and history.

This would be a great choice for those historical fiction genre assignments.  She gives a great description of London in the mid 19th century and makes you grateful for indoor plumbing and modern medicine.  My only complaint is that the pacing is a little slow.  It picks up around the middle when the cholera epidemic breaks out.  But I wouldn’t recommend it for reluctant readers.

 

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2017 in Historical

 

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Bomb: The race to build and steal the world’s most dangerous weapon

Title: Bomb: The race to build and steal the world’s most dangerous weapon
Author: Steve Sheinkin
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 5th Grade and up
Pages: 266 pages
Call Number/Link:  J 623.4 SHE

Synopsis: In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world’s most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.

My thoughts: This is a very interesting book.  I listened to the audio book, so I had a little bit of trouble remember who some of the people were.  I think that if I had read the book that the names would have stuck with me better. It was interesting to hear the whole process and to see some insight to the scientists who worked on the project.  I didn’t realizes that some scientists in Chicago did some initial work on the project.  I am really surprised that they were able to keep everything so secretive with all the spies trying to get information.  I think a anyone interested in World War II will be interested in this book.  It has really good information in an easy format to follow.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2017 in Historical, Juv

 

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Lost in the Pacific, 1942: not a drop to drink

lost-in-the-pacificTitle: Lost in the Pacific, 1942: not a drop to drink
Author: Tod Olson
Series: Lost
Recommended for: 6th- 9th Grade
Pages: 168 pages
Call Number/Link:  J FICTION OLSON, T.

Synopsis: World War II, October 21, 1942. A B-Seventeen bomber drones high over the Pacific Ocean, sending a desperate SOS into the air. The crew is carrying America’s greatest living war hero on a secret mission deep into the battle zone. But the plane is lost, burning through its final gallons of fuel. At 1:30 p.m., there is only one choice left: an emergency landing at sea. If the crew survives the impact, they will be left stranded without food or water hundreds of miles from civilization.

This is an interesting event that happened during World War II.  I found it interesting that you would hear what was going on while they were lost at sea.  It was also fun to hear the different views from the different crew members.  It was a little slow in some areas, but I did find it fascinating.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in Historical, Juv, Non-Fiction

 

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Conoce a / Get to know Gabriela Mistral

mistral

 

Title: Conoce a / Get to Know Gabriela Mistral

Author: Georgina Lazaro Leon

Series: Personajes del mundo hispanico

Recommended for:  grade 2-5 

Pages: 29

Call Number/Link:  SPA J B MISTRAL, G.

Synopsis: A quiet, shy, and humble little girl grew up to become a very important writer. How important was she? She was the first Latin American writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, the most prestigious award given to writers in the world!

Thoughts:  I like how these books are bilingual and are illustrated very nicely.  They are attractive to the eye and present the information in a storybook form while giving excerpts from their body of work. For a biography it was interesting and told their story fairly quickly and would be a great use for book reports or personal information.  We only have a few books in the series so they would have to be held and brought over from other libraries.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2017 in Historical, Juv, Non-Fiction, Spanish, Uncategorized

 

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The Lost Twin

lost twin 1_Title:The Lost Twin

Author: Sophie Cleverly

Series:Scarlet and Ivy

Pages: 290 pages

Recommended for: 3rd – 6th Grade

Synopsis:After her troublemaking twin, Scarlet, vanishes from Rookwood Boarding School, shy Ivy tries to track her down, using pieces of Scarlet’s journal carefully hidden all over the school for Ivy to find.

Ivy is invited to go to Rookwood Boarding School to take her twin sisters spot at the school.  Ivy doesn’t want to go, but isn’t given a choice.  Once, she gets their the headmistress tells her she has to pretend that she is Scarlet. Ivy knows something is up, but not sure what to do.  She stumbles pieces of her sisters diary and starts to piece together what happened.

This is set in the 1930, but really the only thing that sticks out as different from modern times is that corporal punishment is still allowed.  It is an interesting story and I would read the next in the series, but it was not a book I couldn’t put down. It is even paced and well written.  I like that Ivy is a strong main character, even thought she doesn’t thing she really is.

 

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2016 in Historical, Juv, Mysteries

 

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