Tag Archives: War

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

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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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

Welcome To Nowhere

Twelve-year-old Omar lives in Bosra, Syria with his family.  He dreams of being a businessman and his sister wants to be a teacher. Their hopes are shattered when  war breaks out. The family is forced to flee Syria by foot to get to Jordan. This is a moving and sensitive novel with lovable characters. A Letter from the Author provides more information about the war in Syria. Also included is a section What Can You DoTo Help? that tells about the Hope School in Jordan. mjw
Title: Welcome To Nowhere
Author: Elizabeth Laird
Illustrator
: Lucy Eldridge
Publisher
: Macmillan Children’s Books
Copyright
: 22017
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5098-44047-2
Paperback pages
: 329
Age range
: 9-11
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Syria, Jordan
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in new Zealand of Scottish parents
Author’s residence
: Britain
Awards
: Winner of the UKLA Book Award
Subjects
: Cerebral Palsy, Homelessness, Middle East, Poverty, Refugees, Syria

When Spring Comes To The DMZ

The beautiful paintings in this book show the changing seasons and the variety of wildlife that live peacefully in the Demilitarized Zone of Korea. Readers can also see the ever-present fences and soldiers. Salmon swim bravely upstream and mountain goats jump after their mother.  Grandfather goes to the DMZ every season and dreams of flinging the gates wide open and walking inside and looking up into the blue sky. The book is part of the Peace Picture Book Project by illustrators from Korea, China, and Japan. A map of Korea and historical facts are included as back matter and the endpapers provide a world map. mjw
Title: When Spring Comes To The DMZ
Author: Uk-Bae Lee
Illustrator
: Uk-Bae Lee
Publisher
: Plough Publishing House. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: Korean
Translator
: Aileen Won
Original Title
: Bimujang chidae e bom i omyon
Original Publisher
: Sakyejul Publishing Ltd. Paju, Korea
Original Copyright
: 2010
ISBN
: 978-0-87486-972-9
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Korea
Author’s ethnicity
: Korean
Author’s residence
: Korea
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Korean
Illustrator’s residence
: Korea
Awards
: 2020 ALA Mildred Batchelder Honor Award
Subjects
: Grandfathers, Korean Demilitarized Zone, Seasons, Soldiers

Letters From Bear

Bird migrates south for the winter and Bear takes a long journey to find her. Bear writes letters to record her adventures. The letters recount a trip into the scary woods, being rescued by a mermaid, escaping a battle between two human armies, a squirrel’s birthday party, and much more.  Bear finally reaches her destination only to find that Bird never received the letters.  Bird didn’t want to be separated from Bear, so she headed back north.  Bird’s friends devise a plan for the friends to be reunited. Rich paintings illustrate Bear’s adventure. mjw
Title: Letters from Bear
Author: Gauthier David
Illustrator
: Marie Caudry
Publisher
: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Sarah Ardizzone
Original Title
: Les lettres de L’ourse
Original Publisher
: Autrement, Belgium
Original Copyright
: 2012
ISBN
: 978-0-8028-5536-7
Hardcover pages
: 56
Age range
: 5-9
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Drome, France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: French
Illustrator’s residence
: Drome, France
Subjects
: Birds, Bears, Desert, Forest, Letter writing, Mountains, Oceans, Seas, Seasons, Volcanoes

My Long List Of Impossible Things

Sixteen-year-old Katja, her eighteen-year-old sister Hilde, and their mother are forced out of their house in Germany when Soviet troops take over their village after WW II. German society has collapsed and there is much hardship and violence.  Their mother is killed and the two girls make a long and dangerous journey to another town on their own.  The story is told from the point of view of Katja and the German teenage post war perspective and is rarely examined in young adult fiction.  Katja questions so much about her country, but manages to make a new life for herself.  One thing that saves Katja is her love of the piano.  Interesting facts about famous composers are sprinkled throughout this brilliant novel. mjw
Title: My Long List Of Impossible Things
Author: Michelle Barker
Publisher
: Annick Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-77321-364-4
Paperback pages
: 360
Age range
: 9 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Germany
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Subjects
: Music, Musicians, Nazism, Piano, Soviet occupation, Violence, World War II

A Grain Of Rice

Thirteen-year-old Yen and her family live in rural Vietnam. A flood destroys their village.  Famine and persecution because they are of Chinese ancestry lead the family to flee from their war-torn homeland after the fall of Saigon.  They become boat people and are eventually rescued by the Malaysian Coast Guard. There is a glossary of Vietnamese words. The story is based on events from the author’s childhood. mjw
Title: A Grain Of Rice
Author: Nhung N. Tran-Davies
Publisher
: Tradewind Books. Vancouver
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-926890-25-8
Paperback pages
: 154
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Vietnam
Author’s ethnicity
: Vietnamese
Author’s residence
: Edmonton, Alberta. Canada 
Subjects
: Famine Food, Persecution, Poverty, Prejudice, Refugees

Maison Rouge: Memories Of A Childhood In War

 

Liliane Leila Juma was sixteen years old when her home in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was destroyed by rebel soldiers.  In her memoir, she tells about her life before and after her family was torn apart by militia invasions and civil war.  Through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Leila and her family were able to relocate to Canada.  An introduction gives facts about Congo.  A helpful map of the region is included. mjw
Title: Maison Rouge: Memories Of A Childhood In War
Author: Liliane Leila Juma
Publisher
: Tradewind Books. Vancouver
Copyright: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-926890-30-2
Paperback pages
: 126
Age range
: 12 up
Genre
: Nonfiction, Information Book, Biography
Book setting
: Congo
Author’s ethnicity
: Congolese
Author’s residence
: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Subjects
: Canada, Civil war, Congo (Democratic Republic), Invasion, Refugees, Social conditions, Survival