Tag Archives: WWII

Claire’s List of Books to Read!

There’s always so many books that I want to, but never have the time to read! Of the many books that are on my to-read list, these are my top five.

bookthief1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My sister got this book for me as a present a few years ago.  I read the first 30 or so pages, and then for some reason I didn’t pick it up again.  My mom “borrowed” the book from me (I swear she’s a book thief – pun intended), and I didn’t get it back until a few months later.  In 8th grade, I read Zusak’s I Am the Messenger, and I loved it.  Ever since then, The Book Thief has been one of my top five to-read books.  Also, the movie is out so after I get around to reading it, I can watch that too. Continue reading

Cracking the Hub: Stargazing Dog, Bomb & Daredevil

I finished The Hub Challenge just before the deadline!
 The 22nd book I read was, Stargazing Dog by Takashi Murakami.
Stargazing Dog made it onto the Great Graphic Novels for Teens this year.  It is the story of a dog who is adopted by a young girl, and the changes he sees his family go through over the years.  His “daddy” – the one who takes him for walks and talks to him – goes through a crisis which leads to a long road trip to Northern Japan on dwindling resources.
Even weeks after finishing the book I’m still thinking over how the themes of friendship, death, poverty, homelessness, family, and loyalty were seamlessly woven into this short graphic novel: this thought-provoking story portrays a side of homelessness from the point of view of a loyal pet, and those who read it will likely find themselves more empathetic to the situations of all members of the community.  Also, if you’re following local events, it’s interesting to first read this story set in a different country and then read local news reports about homelessness in the Seattle Community. Continue reading

Revolutionary Reads

GracelingGraceling by Kristin Cashore:  In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.



Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.



Summer PrinceThe Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson: In a Brazil of the distant future, June Costa falls in love with Enki, a fellow artist and rebel against the strict limits of the legendary pyramid city of Palmares Três’ matriarchal government, knowing that, like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.



Little Brother

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow:  After being interrogated by the Department of Homeland Security after a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, Marcus is released into what is now a police state and uses his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.



OrleansOrleans by Sherrie L. Smith:  Set in a futuristic, hostile Orleans landscape, Fen de la Guerre must deliver her tribe leader’s baby over the Wall into the Outer States before her blood becomes tainted with Delta Fever.




Fire in the StreetsFire in the Streets by Kekla Magoon: In the aftermath of Dr. King’s assassination in 1968, Chicago fourteen-year-old Maxie longs to join the Black Panthers, whether or not her brother Raheem, ex-boyfriend Sam, or her friends like it, and is soon caught up in the violence of anti-war and civil rights demonstrations.



Five 4ths of JulyFive 4th of Julys by Pat Raccio Hughes:  On July 4th, 1777, Jake Mallory and his friends are celebrating their new nation’s independence, but over the next four years Jake finds himself in increasingly adventurous circumstances as he battles British forces, barely survives captivity on a prison ship, and finally returns home, war-torn and weary, but hopeful for America’s future.


Aristotle and Dante DiscoverAristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz:  Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.



Poetry Speaks Who I AmPoetry Speaks Who I Am:  Poems about you, who you are, and who you are becoming. Find the poem you love, the one that makes you angry, the one that makes you laugh, the one that knocks the wind out of you and becomes a part of you. Poetry can be life-altering, gritty and difficult. It can be hilarious or heart-breaking.  This  is a collection that is dynamic, accessible, challenging, classic, edgy, and ultimately not quite perfect. Just like you.

Book Shorts: Bomb: the Race to Build – and Steal – The World's Most Dangerous Weapon

BombTitle:  Bomb: the Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

Author:  Steve Sheinkin

Summary:  In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents.  This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world’s most formidable weapon.  This is the story of the atomic bomb.  Bomb is a 2012 National Book Awards finalist for Young People’s Literature.

I started reading it because… I had read and liked another book by the same author.

I kept reading because…I liked the story of the Russian spies stealing the atomic secrets.

Main character(s): If they were in a yearbook, they would be voted Most Likely To: Be the World’s Greatest Scientist.

Six Word Recap: Geeks and bombs – it’s a race!

This book reminded me of Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz because it reads like a spy thriller.

Websites of interest: Steve Sheinkin

Book Shorts: Flygirl



Title:  Flygirl

Author:  Sherri L. Smith

Summary:  During World War II, a light-skinned African American girl “passes” for white in order to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots.

I started reading it because… I love flying and stories about amazing women.

I kept reading because… Ida Mae Jones is a force to be reckoned with and I was tense throughout the novel waiting for something to go wrong in her plans…a plane accident, bodily injury, or discovery of her ruse.  Which, spoiler alert, it never does.  This was both a relief (as I really like Ida Mae) and a let-down (doesn’t seem realistic to the time period and situation).

Main character(s): If they were in a yearbook, they would be voted Most Likely To:  Succeed … by any means possible.

Six Word Recap:  Ida Mae will not be deterred.

Websites of interest:  Sherri was invited by the U.S. State Dept to join in conversation about multiculturalism in the United States.