Do you know anything about the Vietnam War? It is a complex time period, but if you’d like to learn more about it in an easy-to-read format, then this book is for you:
Vietnam War: Living Through The Vietnam War by Cath Senker
One of the more famous events at the end of this war was the airlift of Vietnamese orphans out of the capital of Saigon. This fascinating story of one baby’s journey was written after the author interviewed the now-grown girl and pieced together amazing details about her young life in Vietnam. Read her story in Last Airlift: a Vietnamese Orphan’s Rescue from War by Marsha Skrypuch
Escape from Saigon: How a Vietnam War Orphan Became an American Boy by Andrew Warren, tells the story of a young Amerasian boy who is rescued during the same airlift, though he is a much older boy and remembers more.
Great fiction has also been written about Vietnam and the war.
Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam by award-winning author Cynthia Kadohata, chronicles the journey of Cracker, a bomb-sniffing dog, and Rick, a hard-headed, difficult-to-get-along-with young man, as they learn to rely on each other for their lives.
Inside Out and Back Again, winner of a Newbery Honor Award by Thanhha Lai, chronicles a family’s journey to America during the uncertain last days before the Vietcong take over Saigon.
Do you love Castles and Kings? Peasants and Knights? All things medieval like I do?
Then Karen Cushman is the author for you! I have read all of her books and most are set in Medieval or Elizabethan England.
Her latest book is something different. It is still set in England's Middle-Ages but for the first time Cushman's main character is a boy, twelve-year-old Will Sparrow.
Will Sparrow, Liar and thief, is running away from the father who sold him for beer, the innkeeper who threatened to sell him as a chimney sweep- from his whole, sad, sorry life. Barefoot and penniless, Will is determined to avoid capture, secure boots, and find something to eat. The lively goings-on behind the scenes of Elizabethan market fairs provide a colorful, earthy backdrop from this wise and funny story of a runaway who finally and unexpectedly stops running.
To find out what Karen Cushman has to say about writing historical fiction check out her website. There is also an interview with the author and information about all her books
Below is a list of Karen Cushman books set in medieval times that we have at the library:
Alchemy and Meggy Swann
The Midwife's Apprentice
Catherine Called Birdy
Some of these books are available to download to your computer or reader or to check-out and listen to on disc or playaway. Be sure to ask at your favorite library.
Want to learn more about the Middle Ages? Check-out these nonfiction titles!
The Middle Ages: An Interactive History Adventure by Allison Lassieur
DK Eyewitness' Medieval Life by Andrew Langley
Look Inside a Castle by Jenny Moss
I am always on the lookout for a new historical read. If you have a favorite I'd love to hear about it!
Sometimes it’s difficult to understand why nations make the choices they do, but there is usually a reason behind each choice. Learning about history helps us discern the context of the choices. This is especially true for wars since there are often many factors that lead to conflict. If you are interested in World War II, there is a great, easy-to-read, comprehensive new book at the library that explains the background of, and events during, the war.
Check out Living Through World War II by Andrew Langley
There are also many wonderful fiction (made up) stories, which help us understand what individuals experienced during the war. One of my favorites is Soldier Bear by Bib Dumon Tak
It is based on a true story (there are marvelous photos in the back of the book) of a bear who is befriended by some Polish soldiers in the Middle East. The bear becomes their company’s mascot and helps them in the fighting! He eventually winds up in Scotland, where he lives a long life.
Elephant Run by Roland Smith takes place in Burma on the brink of the Japanese invasion. Nick’s life on his father’s teak plantation is so different from London, but he adjusts to life there, just in time to experience the horrors and difficulties of war in the jungle. A great adventure and a quick read you’re sure to enjoy!
What would it be like to encounter an enemy soldier in your small American town? Sheltering an escaped German prisoner of war is the beginning of some shattering experiences for Patty, a 12-year-old Jewish girl in Arkansas. Read Summer of my German Soldier by Bette Greene to understand what it would be like.
Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming, is a picture book that explores a friendship that develops between a young Dutch girl and her new American friend in thanks for the care package sent after World War II.
Or, read another great picture book
The Greatest Skating by Louise Borden, about a ten-year-old Dutch boy's dream of skating in a famous race, which allows him to help two children escape to Belgium during World War II, by ice skating past German soldiers and other enemies.