Tag Archives: War

My Name Is Bana

my name is bana

Seven-year-old Bana, a Syrian girl from Aleppo, took to Twitter to describe her war-torn home. In this picture book memoir, she offers her perspective on the war and being a refugee. She explains the origin of her name. Bana is a tall bushy tree that grows in Syria. Her father and mother wanted her to be strong just like the tree – being kind to others, standing up against injustice, and being brave in the face of fear. She also shows her strength by bringing joy to her brothers amidst bombings, starting over in a new country, and speaking to world leaders on behalf of Syrian refugee children. The illustrations rendered in acrylic paint and finished in procreate are emotional and bright. Arabic words are smoothly integrated into the text. An author’s note tells that the book is based on a true story. mjw

Title: My Name Is Bana
Author: Bana Alabed
Illustrator
: Nez Riaz
Publisher
: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1534412484
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture book, Autobiography
Book setting
: Syria and Turkey
Author’s ethnicity
: Syrian
Author’s residence
: Turkey
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Pakistani
Illustrator’s residence
: Boston, MA
Awards
: 2022 NCSS Notable Books
Subjects
: Autobiography, Biography, Children’s writings, Human rights, Refugee children, Syria – Civil War, Trees

The Library Bus

The Library Bus

Author Bahram Rahman grew up in Afghanistan during the civil war and Taliban regime of 1996-2001. His story was inspired by the first library bus in Kabul that brought books to girls in remote villages and refugee camps who had no other access to education. Five-year-old Pari is starting her first day as her mother’s helper on the library bus. The girls in the villages and camps are learning English, but Pari cannot even read or write in Farsi yet. She is lucky that she will attend school next year. Her mother had to learn in secret because not long ago, girls were forbidden to read. The captivating watercolor and digital media artwork portrays the girls’ smiling faces, the rich landscape of Afghanistan, and the power of education. Included are notes about refugee camps and the author’s experiences in Kabul. mjw

Title: The Library Bus
Author: Bahram Rahman
Illustrator
: Gabrielle Grimard
Publisher
: Pajama Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-77278-101-4
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture book
Book setting
: Kabul, Afghanistan
Author’s ethnicity
: born in Kabul, Afghanistan
Author’s residence
: Ontario, Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: born in Montreal
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award, 2021 Middle East Book Award Winner, 2021 Sout Asian Book Award – Highly recommended book
Subjects
: Books, Education, Libraries, Homelessness, Middle East, Poverty, Reading, Refugees

Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue

Bandoola

The colored pencil drawings are stunningly beautiful in this incredible true story about war veteran James Howard Williams; Bandoola, a working elephant; and Po Toke, the elephant’s keeper. They work together on a teak plantation in Myanmar (Burma), a country in Southeast Asia that was a colony of the British Empire. When World War II forces them to evacuate their home in the jungle, they lead a group of over 200 refugees and over 50 elephants across mountainous terrain to safety in Assam, India. A table of contents, a map, a wonderfully illustrated glossary, suggestions for further reading, and an author’s note add to this highly educational masterpiece. mjw

Title: Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue
Author: William Grill
Illustrator
: William Grill
Publisher
: Flying Eye Books, an imprint of Nobrow Ltd. London
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-83874-123-8
Hardcover pages
: 88
Age range
: 8-14
Genre
: Picture Book, Information Book, Nonfiction
Book setting
: Myanmar and India
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: London
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: English
Illustrator’s residence
: London
Awards
: Author /Illustrator has won the 2015 Kate Greenaway Medal
Subjects
: Asian history, Burma, Deforestation, Elephants, Green living, Jungle, Logging industry, Monsoons, Mountains, Rainforests, Timber, Timber elephants, World War II

Last Witnesses (Adapted for Young Adults)

Last witnesses

A very helpful Historical Context sets the scene for 65 short personal narratives told by those who were Russian children during World War II and survived terrifying war-time experiences. Nobel Prize-winning Svetlana Alexievich discloses the traumatic memories of children who were separated from their parents, most of them never to be reunited. This is the young adult adaptation of her masterpiece, Last Witness: An Oral History of the Children of WWII. The Russian perspective stories are fascinating as they portray terror, survival, and hope. The book also features a useful glossary. mjw

Title: Last Witnesses (Adapted for Young Adults)
Author: Svetlana Alexievich
Publisher
: Penguin Random House LLC
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Russian
Translator
: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Original Title
: Last Witnesses: An Oral History Of The Children Of WWII
Original Publisher
: Molodaya Gvardiya, Moscow
Original Copyright
: 1985
ISBN
: 978-0-593-30853-0
Hardcover pages
: 288
Age range
: 12-17
Genre
: Information book, Nonfiction, Oral history
Book setting
: Russia
Author’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Author’s residence
: Soviet Union, Belarus, Western Europe
Awards
: Author has won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Literature. 2022 NCSS Notable Books
Subjects
: Childhood, Death, Historical biographies, Hope, Military history, Oral history, Resilience, Survival, Terror, WWII, Young adult

How War Changed Rondo

How War Chaged Rondo

The Ukrainian husband and wife, author/ illustrator team created this book as a response to their experiences of war in Ukraine. The story is set in the fictional town of Rondo, which is known for its greenhouses of musical flowers. Everyone who lives there speaks to birds and plants, paints pictures, sings, and writes poetry. Rondo is perfect. The three protagonists are Danko who glows like a lantern and has a shining heart, Fabian who resembles a dog-shaped balloon animal, and Zirka who has a bird-like origami body folded from maps and newspaper articles about war. War comes to Rondo bringing its darkness and destruction. Together, the three friends rally their town to devise a plan using light, community, and song to halt war and restore peace. The stunning mixed-media illustrations undergo dramatic shifts in color when war enters and then finally leaves Rondo. mjw

Title: How War Changed Rondo
Author/Illustrator: Romana Romanyshyn and Andriy Lesiv
Publisher
: Enchanted Lion Books. New York
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Ukrainian
Translator
: Oksana Lushchevska
Original Publisher
: Vydavnytstvo Starohoo Leva (The Old Lion Publishing House) Lviv, Ukraine
Original Copyright
: 2015
ISBN
: 978-1-59270-367-8
Hardcover pages
: 40
Age range
: 5-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Author’s residence
: Ukraine
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Ukrainian
Illustrator’s residence
: Ukraine
Awards
: 2022 USBBY Outstanding International Book
Subjects
: Death, Flowers, Nature, Peace, Music, Violence, War

Red Stars: The Case Of Viktor And Nadya’s Notebooks

Red Stars- The Case...

Diary entries, maps, drawings, and historical photos tell this story of Viktor and Nadya, twelve-year-old twins who were evacuated from Leningrad when Hitler declared war on the Soviet Union. They were separated when they were put on trains that were meant to take them to safety. The story is told in three voices, alternating between Viktor (printed in red), Nadya (printed in dark blue), and an offstage voice of a Soviet Secret Police officer. His handwritten comments are written in the margins. Viktor’s train makes it to Moscow, where he is expected to do hard labor on a kolkhoz (farm). It is rumored that Nadya’s train was bombed with no survivors. Viktor doesn’t believe this and sets off through cold and harsh conditions to find Nadya. They eventually find each other and unravel a mystery of treason and betrayal at the highest level of Soviet leadership. mjw

Title: Red Stars: The Case Of Viktor And Nadya’s Notebooks
Author: Davide Morosinotto
Illustrator
: Simone Tso
Publisher
: Delacorte Press
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: Italian
Translator
: Denise Muir
Original Title
:  La Stolgorante luce di due stelle rosse
Original Publisher
: Mondadori, Milan
Original Copyright
: 2017
ISBN
: 978-1-9848-9332-1
Hardcover pages
: 432
Age range
: 10-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Soviet Union
Author’s ethnicity
: Italian
Author’s residence
: Italy
Subjects
: European historical fiction, Evacuation, Germany, Hitler, Leningrad, MIlitary fictioon, Siblings, Trains, World War II

Soul Lanterns

Soul Lanterns

Set 25 years after the bombing of Hiroshima, twelve-year-old Nozomi discovers that the long-term emotional and physical effects of the bombing continue. Her art class project is to learn more about the experiences of students’ families on August 6, 1945. Book chapters focus on individual heartbreaking narratives told by survivors. This powerful story from a Japanese perspective shows the impact on the city and emphasizes the message of peace. mjw

Title: Soul Lanterns
Author: Shaw Huzki
Publisher
: Delacorte Press
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Japanese
Translator
: Emily Balistrieri
Original Title
: Hikari no utsushie Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Hiroshima
Original Publisher
: Kodansha, Ltd. Tokyo
Original Copyright
: 2013
ISBN
: 978-0-593-17436-4
Hardcover pages
: 175
Age range
: 10 up
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Japan
Author’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Author’s residence
: Kamakura, Japan
Awards: 2022 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Art, Atomic bomb, Ceremonies, Grandparents, Hiroshima, Lantern floating ceremony, Peace, World War II

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
Awards: 2022 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Concentration camps, Dogs, Germany, Adolf Hitler, Holocaust, Jews

War

WarWar spreads like a disease. It hears nothing, sees nothing, and feels nothing. It feeds on hate and spite. It saddens, crushes, and silences. It destroys everything in its path. This eye-opening book with sparse text reveals the many sides of war. The watercolor illustrations in black, grays, and browns are stunning and surreal. War is the perfect book for starting important discussions between children and their parents and teachers. mjw
Title: War
Author: Jose Jorge Letria
Illustrator
: Andre Letria
Publisher
: Greystone Kids. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Copyright
: 2021
Original Language
: Portuguese
Translator
: Elisa Amado
Original Title
: A Guerra
Original Publisher
: Pato Logico Edicoes. Lisbon, Portugal
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-77164-726-7
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 9 up
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Portuguese
Author’s residence
: Lisbon, Portugal
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Portuguese
Illustrator’s residence
: Lisbon Portugal
Awards
: Nami Concours 2018 (Grand Prix), White Raven 2018, 2022 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Conflict, Value of peace, 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