Tag Archives: History

The Story Of Bodri

The Story of BodriHedi and her friend Marika spend their days playing in the park with Hedi’s dog Bodri. Hedi is Jewish and Marika is Christian, but that doesn’t stop them from being friends. All is well until Adolf Hitler ’s frightening voice is heard on the radio saying that he hates Jews. His soldiers come and round up Hedi’s family and all the other Jews and put them onto a train for the camps. Bodri is left behind. Hedi dreams of Bodri for the many months that she and her sister are separated from Bodri and their parents. They are cold and hungry in the camp. Their heads are shaved and they have to wear dirty uniforms and hard shoes. The sisters survive and they are reunited with Bodri. Carefully chosen language tells this difficult story. The author, who was born in 1924, is a Holocaust survivor who experienced the horrors of Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, and several work camps. The illustrations, which were created with watercolor, ink, and digital media, evoke the time and place perfectly. mjw
Title: The Story Of Bodri
Author: Hedi Fried
Illustrator
: Stina Wirsen
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Swedish
Translator
: Linda Schenck
Original Title
: Historien om Bodri
Original Publisher
: Natur & Kultur. Stockholm, Sweden
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5565-7
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 6-10
Genre
: Picture Book. Historical Fiction
Author’s ethnicity
: Swedish-Hungarian
Author’s residence
: Stockholm, Sweden
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s residence
: Stockholm, Sweden
Subjects
: Concentration camps, Dogs, Germany, Adolf Hitler, Holocaust, Jews

Beyond Me

This novel-in-verse examines the aftershocks of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan and damaged a nuclear power plant in March, 2011, through the eyes of eleven-year-old Maya.  Maya and her family were lucky. They didn’t lose their Tokyo home or the lives of family members, but Maya is still terrified. She feels helpless and hopeless. What can she do to help? She chronicles the 24 days after the quake, sometimes minute by minute. Maya and her friend Yuka fold paper cranes and ask for sunflower seeds to plant. She continues writing her journal for 113 days with interesting formatting and timelines. An author’s note tells more about the Great Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of March 11, 2011. mjw

Title: Beyond Me
Author: Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu
Publisher
: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-48143-789-9
Hardcover pages
: 304
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction, Verse
Book setting
: Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: Tokyo, Japan
Subjects
: Earthquakes, Family life, Japan, Novels in verse, Paper cranes, Sunflowers, Survival, Tsunamis

The World’s Poorest President Speaks Out

This unusual picture book is based on Uruguay President Jose Mujica’s 2012 speech to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. He asks the world to question the dogma of consumption that has forced us into environmental and economic crisis. Mujica is known as “the world’s poorest president” because, as Uruguay’s 40th President, he donated 90% of his salary to charity. He was a simple and much-loved leader. In his speech he asks us to appreciate the beauty of nature and life itself and to care for our world. Bold digitally-created illustrations complement the powerful and thought-provoking text from the beginning of the speech where his audience looks bored to the final words where he has earned a standing ovation. mjw
Title: The World’s Poorest President Speaks Out
Author: Jose Mujica
Editor:  Yoshimi Kusaba
Illustrator
: Gaku Nakagawa
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Andrew Wong
Original Title
: Sek ai De Ichiban Mazushi Daitoryo No Supichi
Original Publisher
: Choubunsha Publishing Co., Ltd. Tokyo
Original Copyright
: 2014
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-289-3
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Uruguay
Author’s ethnicity
: Uruguayan
Author’s residence
: Uruguayan
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Japan
Subjects
: Biographies, Homelessness, Poverty. Presidents, South America, Speeches

Amrita Sher-gil: Rebel With A Paintbrush

This beautiful, well-researched book tells the story of modern Indian artist Amrita Sher-Gil’s short, but fascinating life. She was born in Hungary in 1913. Her mother was a Hungarian pianist and her father was an Indian Sikh. Amrita was raised in Hungary and trained in France. She was inspired by writers, musicians, artists, and the time she lived – world wars, the Indian freedom movement, and major changes in the art world. The set-up of the book is amazing. The text that tells Amrita’s story is woven around pictures and boxes of information. Political events and artistic movements that shaped her life are found in other boxes. Real photographs, sometimes taken by her father, are included in the margins, and reproductions of Amrita’s gorgeous paintings are also spread throughout the book. Back matter provides a section called Why Was Amritas’s Art Important? and another section of interesting references. mjw
Title: Amrita Sher-gil: Rebel With A Paintbrush
Author: Anita Vachharajani
Illustrator
: Kalyani Ganapathy
Publisher
: Harper Collins Children’s Books
Copyright
: 2018
Original Publisher:
Harper Collins Children’s Books. India
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-93-5277-473-9
Hardcover pages
: 184
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Information book, Biography, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Hungary, India, France, Pakistan
Author’s ethnicity
: Indian
Author’s residence
: Mumbai
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Indian
Illustrator’s residence
: Nilgiris
Awards
: 2020 USBBY Honor List
Subjects
: Art Biography, India, Indian freedom, Hungary, Painting

Catherine’s War

This teen Jewish French girl’s historical graphic novel is inspired by a true survival story. Rachel Cohen, whose passion is photography, lives at the Sevres Children’s Home outside Paris. As Hitler’s war escalates, she must go into hiding. She has to leave her friends, but she takes her camera as she is forced to move from location to location. The ink and watercolor illustrations capture beautifully the detail of the French setting. A map of Catherine’s journey through France is included, as well as photographs of the real Catherine, and an interview with the author. mjw
Title: Catherine’s War
Author: Julia Billet
Illustrator
: Claire Fauvel
Publisher
: Harper Alley, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Ivanka Hahnenberger
Original Title
: La Guerre de Catherine
Original Publisher
: Rue de Sevres, Paris
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-0-06-291559-7
Paperback pages
: 176
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction, Graphic Novel
Book setting
: France
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: France
Awards
: 2021 ALA Batchelder Honor Award
Subjects
: Cameras, Coming of age, Holocaust, Nazis, Paris, Photographs, World War II

Mexique: A Refugee Story From The Spanish Civil War

On May 27,1937, 456 children sailed on the Mexique from Spain to Morelia, Mexico, to escape the violence of the Spanish Civil War. It was supposed to be a short trip, but they stayed for a long time and many never returned to Spain because of Francisco Franco’s dangerous dictatorship after the war. The haunting, dark, images in the book are based on photographs of the “Children of Morelia” and the ship that brought them to Mexico. mjw
Title: Mexique: A Refugee Story From The Spanish Civil War
Author: Maria Jose Ferrada
Illustrator
: Ana Penyas
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Spanish
Translator
: Elisa Amado
Original Title
: Mexique: El nombre del barco
Original Publisher
: Alboroto Ediciones, Mexico
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5545-9
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Historical Fiction, Information Book, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Spain, Mexico
Author’s ethnicity
: Chilean
Author’s residence
: Chile
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Spanish
Illustrator’s residence
: Madrid
Subjects
: Displaced people, Francisco Franco, Mexico, Refugees, Ships, Spain, Spanish Civil War 1936-1939

Bear And Fred: A World War II Story

This is a touching true story of a Jewish boy hiding during World War II, as told by his teddy bear. He is Fred’s bear and he is very happy. He and Fred do everything together. But one night there is a soft knock at the door.  It is a warning that they would be forced to leave their home. They flee to Amsterdam where Fred goes into hiding, apart from the rest of his family. After the war, Fred and his family are reunited and they move to the United States. An author’s note tells how the bear ended up in the Yad Vashem Museum – the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Israel. A photo of the real bear is included. This endearing story is illustrated digitally with beautiful drawings. mjw
Title: Bear And Fred
Author: Iris Argaman
Illustrator
: Avi Ofer
Publisher
: Amazon Crossing Kids, New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Hebrew
Translator
: Annette Appel
Original Title
: Ha Doobi Shel Fred
Original Publisher
: Hakibbutz Hameucchad. Israel
Original Copyright
: 2016
ISBN
: 978-1-542018234
Hardcover pages
: 48
Age range
: 6-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Holland and U.S.
Author’s ethnicity
: Israeli
Author’s residence
: Israel
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Israeli
Illustrator’s residence
: Spain
Awards
: Vad Vashem Prize in Israel, Giovanni Arpino Proze for Children’s Literature in Italy.
Subjects
: Holocaust, Jewish people, Nazi party, Prejudice and racism, Teddy bear

Freedom

Twelve-year-old Nathaniel is a slave on a Jamaican plantation. His mother and sister have been sold, so he is alone. Old Thomas tells him that once a slave sets foot on English soil, he is free. Nathaniel thinks he can earn his fortune and buy his family’s freedom. He is put on a ship sailing to England with his master, but once he gets there he discovers that slavery exists in England, too. Being a slave in London isn’t much better than being a slave in Jamaica. He jumps at his first chance to escape. Real historical characters are integrated into this action-packed story. A historical note on the slave trade, information about the characters, a timeline, and a glossary are included. mjw
Title: Freedom
Author: Catherine Johnson
Publisher
: Scholastic Children’s Books. London
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1407-18548-4
Paperback pages
: 150
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Historical fiction
Book setting
: Jamaica, England
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in London, Father is Jamaican, Mother is Welsh
Author’s residence
: London
Awards
: 2020 IBBY Honor List
Subjects
: Action, Freedom, Plantations, Slavery, Slave ships

The Lady With The Books: A Story Inspired By The Remarkable Work Of Jella Lepman

This story was inspired by true events and is the fictionalized retelling of how Jella Lepman brought a collection of international books to Germany after WWII in 1946.Anneliese and Peter wander the ruined streets of Munich and discover a great hall filled with books and they meet the lady who set it up. Jella Lepman founded the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and the International Youth Library. This book includes further information about Lepman and her work, and photos of her, the exhibition, and the library. The library in Munich today holds over 60,000 books in more than 130 different languages. The artwork in the book, mostly in blues and grays, was rendered in graphite pencil and colored digitally. mjw
Title: The Lady With The Books: A Story Inspired By The remarkable Work Of Jella Lepman
Author: Kathy Stinson
Illustrator
: Marie Lafrance
Publisher
: Kids Can Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-525301544
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-7
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Germany
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Ontario
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Montreal, Quebec
Subjects
: Books, European historical fiction, Girls and women, International children’s books, Libraries, Reading, World War II

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Everest: The Remarkable Story Of Edmund Hilary And Tenzing Norgay

After a brief introduction, a section called Why Climb Everest? describes why Hillary and Tenzing’s achievement was so remarkable. Two very different, yet equally determined, men battled frost-biting temperatures, icefalls, snow, wind, and death-defying crevasses to climb to the top of the world’s highest mountain, Everest. The narrative is captivating and the digitally created, breathtaking illustrations are very detailed and loaded with fascinating information. A Table of Contents lists the four parts of the book: The Story of Two Very Different Childhoods, The Race for Everest, Hillary and Tenzing Climb Everest, and Their Stories Continue after Everest. The book is exciting and engaging. mjw
Title: Everest: The Remarkable Story Of Edmund Hilary And Tenzing Norgay
Author: Alexandra Stewart
Illustrator
: Joe Todd-Stanton
Publisher
: Bloomsbury Children’s Books. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Great Britain
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-1-5476-0159-2
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Information book, Nonfiction, Picture book, Biography
Book setting
: New Zealand, Tibet, Nepal
Author’s ethnicity
: British
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: British
Illustrator’s residence
: England
Subjects
: Asian history, Mountain climbing, Sherpas, Yaks, Yetis

Brother’s Keeper

Twelve-year-old Sora and her family live in Communist North Korea in 1950. War is coming and they need to escape.  The family plans to walk the 300 miles from their village to the South Korean city of Busan.  There is a bombing and Sora and her eight-year-old brother Youngsoo are left to get there on their own. It’s winter, and they have to face enemy soldiers, starvation, frostbite, deprivation, and other hardships as they struggle to complete their journey.  This highly engrossing story is loosely based on the author’s mother’s experiences. An author’s note, photographs of the author’s family, a glossary of Korean words, a timeline of the Korean War, and a map of Sora’s journey are included. mjw
Title: Brother’s Keeper
Author: Julie Lee
Publisher
: Holiday House. New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0823444946
Hardcover pages
: 320
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Korea
Author’s ethnicity
: Korean
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: Asia, Communism, History, Korean War, Military action, North Korea, Refugees,  Siblings, South Korea, War zone, Winter

Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey Of His Life

Through a magical conversation with a young girl in a horse-drawn carriage, Hans Christian Andersen tells his life story. “The most wonderful fairytale is life itself.” He was a cobbler’s son who left his town in Denmark, with thirteen coins in his pocket, to go to Copenhagen to seek his fortune. He wanted to be an actor or a dancer, but things did not work out for him. What he really enjoyed was writing. A sheet of paper became his stage. He wrote poems, stories, fairytales, and plays. He traveled around the country meeting people who loved the theatre – people like himself. Hans goes on to tell the girl some of his stories, such as The Flying Trunk, Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea, The Ugly Duckling, Clumsy Hans, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and The Snow Queen. The sumptuous illustrations use graphic novel elements to tell the story. In the illustrations, there are references to well-known authors of children’s books and some famous children’s book characters, like The Little Prince, Pinocchio, and more. An author’s note tells more about Hans Christian Andersen’s life. mjw
Title: Hans Christian Andersen: The Journey Of His Life
Author: Heinz Janisch
Illustrator
: Maja Kastelic
Publisher
: NorthSouth Books, Inc., New York
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: German
Translator
: David Henry Wilson
Original Title
: Hans Christian Andersen: Die Reise seines Lebens
Original Publisher
: NordSud Verlag AG> Zurich, Switzerland
Original Copyright
: 2020
ISBN
: 978-0-7358-4388-2
Hardcover pages
: 56
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book Biography
Book setting
: Denmark
Author’s ethnicity
: Austrian
Author’s residence
: Vienna
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Born in Slovenia
Awards
: White Ravens Award – Illustrator
Subjects
: Biography, Denmark, European history, Fairytales, Literary biography