Posts Tagged ‘History’
Posted on March 28th, 2017 by pajamapress
“…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
Posted in A Year of Borrowed Men | Tagged book-review, canlit, children's-books, History, humanity, kidlit, kindness, Michelle Barker, picture-books, Renne Benoit, World-War-II, world-war-two, wwii
Posted on December 27th, 2016 by pajamapress
“This is one of the most beautiful and powerful picture books I’ve seen in a long time. I was…blown away by the emotional impact of both the story and the illustrations. It would make a perfect edition to any middle or high school history classroom. I STRONGLY recommend this one!”
Click here to read the full review
Posted in Adrift at Sea | Tagged book-review, brian-deines, canlit, childrens-book, History, kidlit, marsha-forchuk-skrypuch, marsha-skrypuch, picture-book, refugees, tuan-ho, Vietnam, Vietnam War, vietnamese-boat-people, vietnamese-refugees
Posted on March 23rd, 2015 by pajamapress
How does it feel to be surrounded by people who see you as the enemy? How do you protect yourself when you aren’t sure whom to trust? The protagonists of Uncertain Soldier, Karen Bass’s wonderful new novel for young adults, are grappling with these questions.
Erich, a 17-year-old German sailor in Hitler’s navy, finds himself in Canada after his ship sinks and he is captured. Max is the 12-year-old son of German immigrants living in the fictional town of Horley, Alberta. Their stories converge in 1943, when Erich, now a prisoner of war, is working in a logging camp near Horley.
Both boys share a deep feeling of isolation. Erich does not share his fellow POWs’ Nazi beliefs, but is nonetheless hated by any Canadian with whom he comes into contact. Max was born in Canada but his stern father’s loyalty to Germany causes suspicion when war breaks out, and Max becomes a target for the townspeople.
Erich and max are well-developed characters, as is almost everyone surrounding them. Cora, a young Canadian girl whose relatives were killed in the Blitz, is torn between her hatred of the Germans and her attraction to Erich. The presence of Christmas, a young indigenous man, forces Erich and Max to realize that, despite their frustration with the blind prejudice of others, they harbor their own racial biases.
Bass does a fantastic job building and releasing tension throughout the novel. That war and violence were omnipresent in everyone’s lives during the period is made plain, despite the deceptively peaceful setting of a town far from the front lines. In the end, Erich and Max are pushed to their breaking points and have to decide how to respond. Will they refuse to engage or will they stand up and do what’s right, despite the risks? Their feelings of helplessness and struggles with conflicted loyalties should be easy for any young reader to identify with.
Posted in Uncertain Soldier | Tagged History, karen-bass, quill-and-quire, teen, uncertain-soldier, wwii, ya
Posted on February 1st, 2015 by pajamapress
“Gr 8 Up–Skrypuch continues to tell the stories of young refugees—as in The Hunger (2002), Nobody’s Child (2003, both Dundrun), and Daughter of War (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2008)—in her latest historical novel. Set between 1913 and 1917, it features two Alevi Kurd teenagers in Anatolia as World War I breaks out and Turkey begins the Armenian Genocide. Ali emigrates before the war begins and gives his girlfriend, Zeynep, a journal to write in for when they meet again. While in Canada, he is locked up in an internment camp because of his nationality, though he does not identify as Turkish. Meanwhile, Zeynep is witness to the genocide of her neighbors and is called to help. The author sheds light on an often overlooked piece of history….[T]he setting is fascinating, the research is thorough, and the story is made all the more interesting due to current events in the region. The author’s note is full of source notes and historical details…In a world that continues to be violent, readers may find solace in the novel’s joyful ending. VERDICT Dance of the Banished is absolutely school assignment worthy, and a good book for teens who enjoy historical fiction.”
—Lisa Nowlain, Darien Library, CT
Posted in Dance of the Banished | Tagged dance-of-the-banished, History, marsha-skrypuch, Novel, Review, school-library-journal, slj, teen, wwi, ya
Posted on January 12th, 2015 by pajamapress
“Canadian author Skrypuch, who has written several other well-received historical novels about World War I and the Armenian Genocide, has created an absorbing glimpse into a dark period in world history and the human consequences of war. Most of the novel is told through letters that Zeynep writes (but does not send) to Ali; as she becomes involved in protecting the Armenian people, these letters become an eye-witness account to the atrocities being committed against them. Ali, picked up as a Turk enemy alien (he and Zeynep are actually Alevi Kurds) and sent to the Kapuskasing prison internment camp, tells less of the story, including a subplot about his involvement with a young Cree woman who wants to become a nurse.
…The history comes alive, particularly in Zeynep’s chapters, and fans of historical or war novels, who may not know much about the Canadian internment camps or the Armenian Genocide, will surely be engaged enough to do further research (this reviewer did).”
Posted in Dance of the Banished | Tagged armenian-genocide, Canada, dance-of-the-banished, History, marsha-forchuk-skrypuch, marsha-skrypuch, teen, voya, wwi, ya
Posted on January 10th, 2015 by pajamapress
“World War I separates a betrothed Anatolian couple—leaving one to witness the Armenian genocide and sending the other to a prison camp…in Canada. Cast as letters and journal entries, the double narrative records the experiences of Zeynep, a villager transplanted to the “mighty city of Harput,” and Ali, who is swept up with other supposed enemy aliens and shipped to a remote camp in central Ontario before he can send for Zeynep. Neither is of Turkish descent: They are Kurds practicing the ancient, indigenous Alevi faith. These distinctions make no difference to Canadian authorities in Ali’s case, but they do give Zeynep some protection as she records a rising tide of atrocities committed against her Armenian (Christian) friends and neighbors…An eye-opening exposé of historical outrages committed in two countries, with intriguing glimpses of a minority group that is not well-known in the Americas”
Posted in Dance of the Banished | Tagged armenian, Canada, dance-of-the-banished, Historical Fiction, History, kirkus, marsha-forchuk-skrypuch, marsha-skrypuch, Review, teen, wwi, ya
Posted on October 27th, 2014 by pajamapress
“Bear on the Homefront continues the true life adventure of a Teddy Bear begun in the book A Bear in War. Poignant and tender in its writing, this picture book helps to teach today’s children about real life experiences during World War II. Bear on the Homefront, told from the bear’s point of view, recounts how children were sent from England to Canada for safe keeping during the war and follows a young boy and girl, along with Teddy, who became guests of a family living on a farm in western Canada. The story shares a touch of their lives over the five years they spent on the farm, including how much they miss their parents and their home in England. Teddy, too, misses his family, Nurse Aileen. When the war is over and William and Grace go home to England, Teddy, too, is sent home to Nurse Aileen in Montreal.
An excellent springboard for classroom investigations about World War II and its affects (sic) on all aspects of life. Also, a highly recommended excellent discussion starter and catalyst for reflection on the affects of war on children. In addition, using both together provides the impetus for research into the Canadian War Museum and its artifacts, along with the importance of family history, first hand accounts of historical events and primary sources of information in our society.”
Posted in Bear on the Homefront | Tagged bear-on-the-homefront, History, resource-links, Review, teddy, world-war-I
Posted on October 14th, 2014 by pajamapress
“…Zeynep, fierce and bold, and Ali, caring and principled, live in the same village in Anatolia and plan to marry. Unexpectedly, Ali is sent to Canada and Zeynep is left behind. Each writes in a journal for the other, but as war comes to both countries it is unlikely their words will ever be shared. Still, they keep on. Zeynep writes an eyewitness account of the genocide from the point of view of the Alevi Kurds, telling a little known side of this tragic story. Ali, in turn, gives an accounting of life in an internment camp in, surprisingly, Kapuskasing. For each, the journal entries are a coping mechanism, a way to bear witness to the atrocities of war and ultimately, to bring justice.
Skrypuch’s compelling characters give an authentic voice to this well researched story. It is definitely a book for adults as well as teens. And although it is a story of war it includes moments of great joy, making it much more than a tragedy…”—Penny Draper
Click here to read the full review.
Posted in Dance of the Banished | Tagged alevi, armenian-genocide, Canada, dance-of-the-banished, Historical Fiction, History, internment, kurd, marsha-forchuk-skrypuch, marsha-skrypuch, national-reading-campaign, Review, teen, world-war-I, wwi, ya
Posted on September 19th, 2014 by pajamapress
“…Dean Griffiths brings Woo and Emily to life with mixed-media paintings. Illustrating the story of another artist must surely be an intimidating task, but Griffiths captures Carr’s emotions clearly. Anyone who has visited Victoria will happily recognize some landmarks that Griffiths deftly includes.
When Emily Carr Met Woo will appeal to children who love animals, as well as art lovers. As an introduction to Emily Carr, who is often depicted as “a strange bird” or otherwise odd (even for an artist), the use of her mischievous monkey Woo will delight children and adults alike. When Emily Carr Met Woo is a definite addition to any home or classroom which values Canadian heritage. Highly Recommended.”
Click here to read the full review.
Posted in When Emily Carr Met Woo | Tagged art, Canada, canadian, CM-magazine, emily-carr, History, monkey, non-fiction, nonfiction, picture-book, Review, victoria, when-emily-carr-met-woo
Posted on September 3rd, 2014 by pajamapress
“…Meticulously researched and sensitively written…In her nineteenth book, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch again gives a revealing and compassionate voice to an under-represented group of people, and shines a light on little-known events in history. Writing about historical injustices for young adults requires a solid grip of the events, sensitivity, and the ability to juggle multiple perspectives in order to create a compelling story that not only keeps us turning the pages, but also brings forward truths that may have been forgotten or buried. Dance of the Banished enlightens us about the plight of the Alevi Kurds during World War 1, saddens us as we find out about the massacre of the Armenians, and maybe even embarrasses us as we discover how “foreigners” were treated in Ontario. Her characters are human, and multifaceted, and make us think about how we would react in times of great stress if our homeland, families, or loved ones were in danger. The answers are never easy, and Marsha does not shy away from difficult and heart-wrenching choices.”
Click here to read the full review.
Posted in Dance of the Banished | Tagged alevi, Canada, dance-of-the-banished, fiction, first-world-war, historical, History, kurd, marsha-forchuk-skrypuch, marsha-skrypuch, Novel, ontario, ottoman-empire, prisoner, teen, turk, war, world-war-I, wwi, ya, young-adult