Sometimes, one of the kids has an interest, and they delve into it through historical fiction, memoirs, and biography. Recently JoAnn has developed an interest in World War II. Here are some of the books that she has read:
I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust by Livia Bitton-Jackson
This is a memoir from a girl who was sent along with her family to a concentration camp during WWII. I have not read it, but the reviews are excellent. The book was written in first person, and as is typical of many memoirs, there are some intensely graphic scenes and other parts of the story that aren't as full, fleshed, with a bit of a random feel. Of course, this is how a memoir works. It is someone's memory. Memories are not novels with everything recorded evenly, leading to a climax and a logical conclusion.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
I think most everyone is familiar with the story of Anne Frank, whose family hid during the Holocaust for two years until they were betrayed. Anne Frank was 13 and 14 when she wrote this diary. JoAnn's biggest complaints were that it was a diary, so it was actually boring if at the same time sort of fascinating. It is not a long or difficult read, and I recommend it to add immediacy to a Holocaust study.
Good Night, Maman by Norma Fox Mazer
This book has some personal correlation to our lives because it is the story of a 12 year old girl and her brother who leave Paris as refugees to travel to the refugee center that was operated at Fort Ontario here in Oswego, NY. (One can still go and tour the fort which was originally a fort in the Revolutionary War.) Couple that with award winning author from my own childhood, and I really think this is a winner. I especially recommend it to anyone who might be visiting Fort Ontario. This book is historical fiction.
Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
This book actually takes place after WWII, but the theme of the book is the prejudice that Japanese people faced in our country even after the war was over. JoAnn really liked this book and so did some of my other friends so I have put it on my to read list. This is historical fiction.
Tell No One Who You Are: The Hidden Childhood of Regine Miller by Walter Buchignani & Regine Miller
This is another memoir. In this case, the protagonist is a child who leaves her family and is shuffled from place to place to protect her from the Nazis. This was a favorite of JoAnn's and was actually the start of her WWII obsession.
Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata
This is the story of a girl whose family is placed in a relocation camp for those of Japanese ancestry during WWII. There are many similar works of historical fiction, but JoAnn particularly liked this one.
Of course, I have my own WWII recommendations for young readers, and perhaps, I'll share them tomorrow!