Tag Archives: War

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

Brave With Beauty: A Story Of Afghanistan

This beautiful book is the extraordinary story of Queen Goharshad, a 15thcentury monarch. She was an Afghani woman who was the wife of Sha Rikh.  Together they ruled over the empire of Khorasan that stretched from Turkey to China. Goharshad loved all things of beauty, including art, poetry, music, architecture, calligraphy, and the sciences. She “didn’t care a fig for war.” She was a strong woman whose mission was to bring beauty into the world. Goharshad was instrumental in the construction of a mosque, a university, and a library.  The book is filled with elaborate period illustrations and poems.  There is a guide with pronunciations of some of the words used in the story, an author’s note, and a guide for parents and educators.  A downloadable Activity Guide is included on the Yali Books website. mjw
Title: Brave With Beauty: A Story Of Afghanistan
Author: Maxine Rose Schur
Illustrator
: Patricia Grush, Robin Dewitt, Golsa Yaghoobi
Publisher
: Yali Books. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-949528-97-8
Hardcover pages
: 42
Age range
: 7-9
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical Fiction, Biography
Book setting
: Afghanistan
Author’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: U.S.
Illustrator’s residence
: U.S.
Subjects
: Architecture, Beauty, Biographies, History, Queens, Royalty

Crossing The Farak River

Fourteen-year-old Hasina, her younger brother Araf, and her thirteen-year-old cousin Ghadiya are forced out of their home in the Rakhine province of Myanmar when the Sit Tat Myanmar Army invades one night.  They become separated from their parents.  They know to flee because they are persecuted Muslim Rohingyas. They run deep into the Rakhine forest to hide, but when they return to their village, it has been burned and mostly destroyed.  Their house is still standing, but their family is gone. Hasina is a strong, courageous character who fights for her family in this captivating account of the crisis in Myanmar. mjw
Title: Crossing The Farak River
Author: Michelle Aung Thin
Publisher
: Annick Press. Toronto
Copyright
: 2020
Original Language
: English
Original Title
: Hasina
Original Publisher
: Allen and Unwin. Australia
Original Copyright
: 2019
ISBN
: 978-1-77321-396-5
Paperback pages
: 224
Age range
: 11 up
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Myanmar
Author’s ethnicity
: Born in Burma, now Myanmar
Author’s residence
: Australia
Subjects
: Arakan, Buddhists, Burmese, Human trafficking, Muslims, Persecution, Rakhine State,Refugees, Rohingyas, Soldiers

The Brave Princess And Me

Young Tilde Cohen and her mother are Jews who are searching for a safe place to hide.  They go to Princess Alice’s residence unannounced, begging the princess to hide them.  Princess Alice of Greece was born deaf, but is proficient in lip-reading.  Her kindness is put to the test when two Gestapo agents come by and demand to search the house.  She uses her cleverness to outwit the men and keep Tilde and her mother safe. The illustrations depict emotions beautifully.  Also included are biographical facts and photographs of Princess Alice.  The book is based on a true story from World War II Greece.  Alice is the grandmother of England’s Prince Charles and the great-grandmother of Princes William and Harry. mjw
Title: The Brave Princess And Me
Author: Kathy Kacer
Illustrator
: Juliana Kolesova
Publisher
: Second Story Press, Toronto, Canada
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-772601022
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Greece
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Toronto. Canada
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Toronto. Canada
Subjects
: Athens, Holocaust, Jewish, Nazis, World War II

The Jasmine Sneeze

Haroun is a happy cat living in Damascus, Syria.  He loves lazing and sleeping on the marble floor next to the fountain in his favorite courtyard.  But Haroun has a problem.  The fragrance of the beautiful jasmine flowers causes him to sneeze.  He decides to eradicate the problem by putting old fish skeletons, chicken bones, and other stinky smells into the jasmine tree pots. However, the jasmine spirit is watching his every move.  She is not happy and so she counter attacks Haroun in a funny way.  Haroun learns his lesson and peace returns to Damascus.  The illustrations are bright and cheery.  An author’s note explains more about Damascus, the City of Jasmine.  mjw
Title: The Jasmine Sneeze
Author: Nadine Kaadan
Illustrator
: Nadine Kaadan
Publisher
: Lantana Publishing, Ltd.
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Lantana Publishing Ltd. United Kingdom
Original Copyright
: 2016
ISBN
: 978-1-911373-31-5
Hardcover pages
: 36
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Damascus, Syria
Author’s ethnicity
: Syrian
Author’s residence
: United Kingdom
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Syrian
Illustrator’s residence
: United Kingdom
Subjects
: Cats, Flowers, Jasmine

Captain Rosalie

Five-year-old Rosalie lives with her mother in a French village during World War I.  Her father is away at the front.  She keeps a secret notebook and is on a mission. She is Captain Rosalie, spying on the enemy.  Her mother reads aloud Father’s letters and they all look forward to the war’s end and Father’s return home.  One day, a letter arrives that Rosalie’s mother does not read.  Watercolor, pen, and ink illustrations in muted grays with soft spots of orange, pink, and blue contribute to this quiet, emotional story of hope and courage. mjw
Title: Captain Rosalie
Author: Timothee De Fombelle
Illustrator
: Isabelle Arsenault
Publisher
: Candlewick Press
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Sam Gordon
Original Publisher
: Walker Books Ltd.
Original Copyright
: 2014
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0520-6
Hardcover pages
: 64 
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Historical Fiction, Novella
Book setting
: France
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Paris, France
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Quebec
Subjects
: Fathers and daughters, Letters, Loss, Military fiction, Reading, School issues, World War I

The Good Son: A Story From The First World War Told In Miniature

It’s Christmas time 1914, and a French soldier named Pierre leaves his regiment to visit his family. When he returns, he is imprisoned and faces execution for desertion.  Did he leave without permission?  Did he return late?  Part of the story is told in a letter he writes to his mother.  This is a heartbreaking and sad story of a terrible war. It is based on true events and is played out in photographs of miniature scenes.  A map of the Western front and an author’s note are included.  The author explains his connection to the story and his interest in “little soldiers” and photography.  The illustrators’ process is similar to that used in filmmaking, but in miniature.  Fascinating pictures illustrate the process.  This book is a piece of art. mjw
Title: The Good Son: A Story From the First World War Told In Miniature
Author: Pierre-Jacques Ober
Illustrator
: Jules Ober and Felicity Coonan
Publisher
: Candlewick Studio
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-5362-0482-7
Hardcover pages
: 104
Age range
: 14 up
Genre
: Picture Book, Nonfiction, Information Book
Book setting
: France
Author’s ethnicity
: French
Author’s residence
: Australia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Australian
Illustrator’s residence
: Australia
Subjects
: Campaigns, Desertions, France, Military, Miniatures, Soldiers, Storytelling, Violence, Western front

Lubna And Pebble

Lubna lives with her father and brothers in a world of tents.  Her best friend is a shiny, smooth, gray pebble.  She draws a happy face on it and keeps it warm wrapped in a tea towel in a shoebox.  She tells the pebble about home, the war, and that she loves it.  Soon, a little boy arrives.  At first, he has no words.  He coughs, sneezes, smiles, and says his name is Amir.  Lubna and Amir become friends.  One day, Lubna’s daddy announces that they are leaving because they have found a home.  Lubna feels happy, then sad.  Amir cries. Lubna gives Amir her pebble.  He needs it more than she does.  Larger-than-life, stunning illustrations complement this powerful story. mjw
Title: Lubna And Pebble
Author: Wendy Meddour
Illustrator
: Daniel Egneus
Publisher
: Dial Books for Young Readers. New York
Copyright
: 2019
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-052-5554-165
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 4-8
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Middle East
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: England
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Swedish
Illustrator’s residence
: Athens, Greece
Awards; 2020 USBBY Outstanding International Books List
Subjects
: Refugees

The Eleventh Hour

Jules and Jim are childhood friends who were born on the same day in the same town in Canada.  Jim is always a little faster and a little stronger.  In 1914, when a war begins in Europe, Canada is at war with Germany.  Jules and Jim understand that their country needs them. So they enlist in the army and sail to Europe.  On the Front, conditions are muddy and barbaric.  Jules is always lagging two minutes behind Jim.  Jim gets a medal, while Jules gets stuck doing chores.  On November 11, 1918, at 11 o’ clock the fighting is supposed to stop.  But on the battlefields, not everyone gets the message.  Jules gets shot at 10:58, two minutes before the war ends.  He is the very last Canadian soldier to die in World War I.  Illustrated in a cartoon style and inspired by true events, this picture book is a thought-provoking parable. mjw
Title: The Eleventh Hour
Author: Jacques Goldstyn
Illustrator
: Jacques Goldstyn
Publisher
: Owlkids Books. Toronto
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: French
Translator
: Anne Louise Mahoney
Original Title
: Jules et Jim: freres d’armes
Original Publisher
: Bayard Canada Livres, Inc. Montreal
Original Copyright
: 2018
ISBN
: 978-1-77147-348-4
Hardcover pages
: 64
Age range
: 7-10
Genre
: Picture Book, Historical fiction
Book setting
: Canada, Germany
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Montreal
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Illustrator’s residence
: Montreal
Subjects
: Armistice, Canadian history, Military fiction, World War I

The Princess Dolls

In 1942 Vancouver, nine-year-old best friends Esther and Michiko spot Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret dolls in their local toyshop.  They hope they can have the dolls as presents for their shared birthday. But when Esther receives a doll and Michiko doesn’t, their friendship begins to fall apart.  The story is set during a time of increasing hostility and attacks upon Japanese Canadians.  Michiko and her family are sent away to an internment camp.  Esther is Jewish and her family worries about the fate of relatives who remain in Europe.  The story does resolve in a heartwarming way.  Charming black and white drawings complement this gentle story about friendship. mjw
Title: The Princess Dolls
Author: Ellen Schwartz
Illustrator
: Mariko Ando
Publisher
: Tradewind Books. Vancouver
Copyright
: 2018
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-926890-29-6
Paperback pages
: 224
Age range
: 8-11
Genre
: Historical Fiction
Book setting
: Vancouver, British Columbia
Author’s ethnicity
: Canadian
Author’s residence
: Burnaby, British Columbia
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Japanese
Illustrator’s residence
: Vancouver, British Columbia
Subjects
: Canadian history, Dolls, Injustice, Japanese internment, Racism, Toys, World War II