Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘World-War-II’

A Year of Borrowed Men takes “a very human look at hard times” says There’s a Book For That

Posted on March 28th, 2017 by pajamapress

AYearOfBorrowedMen_Website“…Told from a child’s perspective, this book is a very human look at hard times in European history. Full of tender and sweet moments and the harsh realities of suspicion sand cruelties of war.”

Click here to read the full review

Uncertain Soldier “is a solid, intelligent interpretation of the politics of the [1940s]” says There Will Be Books

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by pajamapress

UncertainSoldier_Internet“…Less traumatic than the American Summer of My German SoldierUncertain Soldier tells the story of Erich Hofmeyer, a German prisoner of war held in Alberta in the winter of 1943-44….

Uncertain Soldier is a solid, intelligent interpretation of the politics of the time and the effect of opinion on morale. Through the richness of its characters, the novel gives voice to a gamut of attitudes, revealing the complexity of life during the 1940s far more thoroughly and effectively than what is taught in history classes. In contrast to the Canadian Sam’s violent insistence that ‘a few firing squads last war would’ve fixed it,’ Erich’s British grandfather astutely notes that ‘more mercy by the Great War’s victors might have prevented the fight that loomed’ (103). The parallel with history is made more powerful by its subtlety; most readers will not hear Sam’s vehemence as an echo of French military politician Ferdinand Foch, who noted at the time that the Treaty of Versailles was ‘not peace [but] an Armistice for twenty years,’ asking for harsher restrictions to be place on the defeated Germany. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Erich’s grandfather’s position is reminiscent of John Maynard Keynes’s insistence that the conditions were too harsh, that the Treaty was a ‘Carthaginian peace,’ a peace ensured by the complete annihilation of the vanquished, such as Rome’s conquering of Carthage. Historians still debate the political ‘what ifs’ of the first half of the twentieth century, and this uncertainty, manifested at all levels of society, is brilliantly woven into the fabric of Bass’s text.”

Click here to read the full review

A Year of Borrowed Men is recommended as a holiday story by The Children’s War

Posted on December 16th, 2016 by pajamapress

AYearOfBorrowedMen_Website…A Year of Borrowed Men is a gentle story, poignant in its hopeful perspective, perhaps because it is narrated by 7 year old Gerda, and Michelle Barker is able to retain all the innocence of a child in her writing. A cruel, hateful regime and war, after all, doesn’t mean one needs to sacrifice their humanity, as so many did living under Hitler and during WWII. Although the story covers the year the POWs were at the Schlottke’s farm, because of the number of pages devoted to Christmas, it makes a nice holiday story, as well. There may not have been Peace of Earth at that time, but at least on one farm there was Goodwill towards men.

Renné Benoit’s watercolor, pencil and pastel illustrations has a gentle, almost folk art feeling to them, done in a palette of warms browns, greens, and ochre earthtones that seems to create a haven in the midst of war.

This book is recommended for readers 6+
This book was borrowed from the NYPL”

Click here to read the full review

Oak Bay News calls A Bear in War “a picture book destined to become a Canadian classic”

Posted on November 22nd, 2016 by pajamapress

A Bear in War by Stephanie Innes & Harry Endrulat, illustrated by Brian Deines“This picture book for ages five and older is a true story about Teddy’s remarkable journey from his life in East Farnham, Que., through his voyage overseas and his eventual journey home. Each chapter in Teddy’s tale is brought to life through Brian Deines’ poignant art. The result is a powerful, moving piece of literature – a picture book destined to become a Canadian classic.”

Click here to read the full article “Page Turners: Children’s book titles explore the topic of war”

A Year of Borrowed Men “is a story to be shared at…a time of giving” says Sal’s Fiction Addiction

Posted on November 22nd, 2016 by pajamapress

AYearOfBorrowedMen_Website“…This is a book that has been on my shelf for far too long. Today, I will remedy that by telling you about it. It is a story of Germany at the end of World War II. Based on her mother’s memories of that time in her life, Michelle Barker chooses to tell it in clear, understated prose.

Gerda and her family ‘borrow’ three French prisoners to help them with keeping their farm productive. They will only stay until the war ends. They are there because the German army has ‘borrowed’ her Papi to help fight the war….

A young narrator’s voice lessens the horror that surrounds the family in wartime. This story of kindness, friendship, and a loving family is illustrated realistically with watercolor, colored pencils, and pastel to evoke the warmth of the situation at a time when there was little hope for many. The addition of family photos and an author’s note add clarity.

This is a story to be shared at any time of year. It would also work well at a Remembrance Day Service (sorry I missed telling you about it a bit earlier) or at Christmas, a time of giving and for being kind and thankful.”

Click here to read the full review

A Year of Borrowed Men is one of six books Orange Marmalade recommends to read to children about WWII

Posted on November 1st, 2016 by pajamapress

AYearOfBorrowedMen_Website“…Based on her mother, Gerda’s, childhood memories, author Michelle Barker tells the story of their family’s farm in Germany and of the French prisoners of war who were sent to help run it while their own men were away soldiering.

Little Gerda has a tender heart towards these seven men, who are supposed to be treated as prisoners. Her mother also has a hospitable heart, yet even inviting the men to eat indoors on a severely cold night, rather than in the pig kitchen, brings accusations from snoopy neighbors, a visit from the police, questioning at headquarters, and threats of imprisonment for any further kindness.

Read this brave, kindhearted story with children ages 4 and up. Warm, homey illustrations strike a gentle tone throughout. An Author’s Note tells more about the harrowing war experiences of the author’s mother.”

Click here to read the full review

Save

A Year of Borrowed Men is “[a] beautiful, poignant story” says Books for the Curious Child

Posted on October 12th, 2016 by pajamapress

AYearOfBorrowedMen_Website“A gentle story, told from the view point of a German girl, of how the war impacted German families. A beautiful, poignant story that subtly introduces humanity during times of war.”

Click here to read the full review.

Uncertain Soldier “a taut, adrenaline-fuelled novel”—Canadian Children’s Book News

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 by pajamapress

UncertainSoldierUncertain Soldier, by the award-winning author of Graffiti Knight, is a taut, adrenaline-fuelled novel of enmity and loyalty set in rural Alberta in the years 1943 and 1944. The conflicts and prejudices of World War II play out with violent consequences in Canada as well as overseas…. Bass writes with a visceral power. As she skillfully ratchets up the tension, both Erich and Max find the courage to stand up for their friends, and themselves, and to break the circles of bullying and prejudice that have held them (and their tormenters) prisoner. Wrestling with complex issues of friendship, loyalty, politics and violence, Uncertain Soldier would be an excellent choice for a teen boys’ book club.”

The New York Times reviews Bear on the Homefront

Posted on January 6th, 2015 by pajamapress

Bear on the Homefront by Stephanie Innes and Harry Endrulat, illustrated by Brian Deines“With well-paced storytelling and soft, nostalgic watercolor illustrations, this follow-up to the World War I picture book “A Bear in War” tells another true story of the stuffed bear Teddy, this one set during World War II. Teddy’s owner, Aileen, who as a child had sent Teddy to her father while he was in Europe fighting the Great War, is now a nurse assigned to accompany British children sent to Canada during the bombing of London as they travel by train to their host families.

A brother and sister named William and Grace seem especially sad, and she lets them take Teddy, who narrates the tale, offering his own separation from Aileen as a comforting parallel to the children’s predicament…”

Click here to read the full review.

Bear on the Homefront is “Heartwarming,” says The Calgary Herald

Posted on November 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress

BearOnTheHomefront_RGB_72dpi“In the first book of Teddy, A Bear in War, we follow the little bear as he’s shipped off to keep Aileen’s Daddy company during the war. Her father never returns but Teddy does, and he now sits in a glass case at the Canadian War Museum. In this second book, Aileen is working as a nurse. She presents Teddy to children who have come to live temporarily in the safety of Canadian homes. These two heartwarming stories, with softly coloured illustrations, will be read and appreciated by ages five to adult.”

—Barbra Hesson