Inada, Lawson Fusao (Editor) and The California Historical Society. Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience (Heyday Books, 2000).
The editor of this unusual anthology has drawn from a wealth of material: poetry, prose, biography, news accounts, formal government declarations, letters, and autobiography along with photographs, sketches, and cartoons that reflect the tragedy of the internment. Taken as a whole, it conveys the deep anguish felt by Japanese who defined themselves as citizens of the United States and yet lost their rights as citizens during a time of national fear. There are editorials published in both Japanese-American newspapers and local papers of the time. A girl describes the day she voluntarily left her home to gather with hundreds of other Japanese to board trains to unknown destinations. One selection is from the autobiography of George Takei, Star Trek's Mr. Sulu. There are delicate haiku and woodblock prints. The official documents issued by President Roosevelt that instituted the forced internment are also included. Readers will come away from this book with a deep understanding of the times, the sense of betrayal, and the conflicting feelings among the three major groups of Japanese who went through the ordeal. (Cynthia J. Rieben, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA for School Library Journal)
Inber, Vera. Leningrad Diary (St. Martin’s Press, 1971).
Leningrad Diary by Vera Inber was published after the “Siege,” in 1946. Throughout the siege, Inber was a familiar voice over Leningrad’s radio waves, providing poetry readings that recorded acts of courage, sparked motivation and spoke to the pride of being a Soviet. Although her writing might now be labeled propagandistic, there is no reason to believe that, at the time it was written, it was anything but sincere.
Isaacs, Anne. Torn Thread (Blue Sky Press, 2002).
Twelve-year-old Eva and her sister have been forced to leave their home in Poland and are imprisoned in a Nazi labor camp. There they must spin thread on treacherous machinery to make clothing and blankets for the German Army. As Eva struggles amid ever worsening dangers to save her life and that of her sick sister, readers witness how two teenagers strive to create home and family amidst inhumanity and chaos. Written in exquisite prose, this story of heartbreak and hope that is rich in detail and symbolism will deeply move readers of all ages.
Isaacson, Judith. Seed of Sarah (University of Illinois Press, Second edition, 1991).
As a teenager in Kaposvar, Hungary, the author dreamed of studying literature at the Sorbonne. At age 19, her reality was forced labor in the notorious camp of Auschwitz. Her memoir of that experience is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, kept alive, as her own was, through humor and creativity. Isaacson tells of evading selection by the feared Dr. Mengele for transport with other young women to the Russian front; of her transfer to Lichentau; and, after the Allied liberation, meeting the American intelligence officer who became her husband. Based on indelible recollections, a return trip to Hungary and research into the Hungarian Holocaust, this is an eloquent picture of a life before and after. (Publisher’s Weekly)
Ishii, Takayuki. One Thousand Paper Cranes: The Story of Sadako and the Children's Peace Statue (Laurel Leaf, 2001).
Ten years after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Sadako Sasaki died as a result of atomic bomb disease. Sadako's determination to fold one thousand paper cranes and her courageous struggle with her illness inspired her classmates. After her death, they started a national campaign to build the Children's Peace Statue to remember Sadako and the many other children who were victims of the Hiroshima bombing. On top of the statue is a girl holding a large crane in her outstretched arms. Today in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, this statue of Sadako is beautifully decorated with thousands of paper cranes given by people throughout the world.
Joffo, Joseph. A Bag of Marbles (University Of Chicago Press, 2001).
When Joseph Joffo was ten years old, his father gave him and his brother fifty francs and instructions to flee Nazi-occupied Paris and, somehow, get to the south where France was free. Previously out of print, this book is a captivating and memorable story; readers will instinctively find themselves rooting for these children caught in the whirlwind of World War II.
Kacer, Kathy. Hiding Edith (Second Story Press, 2006).
Hiding Edith is the true story of Edith Schwalb, a young Jewish girl sent to live in a safe house after the Nazi invasion of France. Edith's story is remarkable not only for her own bravery, but for the bravery of those that helped her: an entire village, including its mayor and citizenry, that heroically conspired to conceal the presence of hundreds of Jewish children who lived in the safe house. Intensively researched and sensitively written, this book both comforts and challenges a young reader's spirit, skillfully addressing both the horrors and the hope that children experienced during the Holocaust.
Kacer, Kathy. The Secret of Gabi’s Dresser (Second Story Press, 2006).
The heroine, Gabi, recounts how as a young Jewish girl she lived on a family farm in Eastern Europe during the Second World War. She describes her community before the Nazi occupation and the events that unfolded afterwards. When the Nazis conducted house searches for Jewish children, Gabi successfully hid in the dining-room dresser. The only thing retrieved from the home after the war was the dresser that saved Gabi's life. It now sits in author Kathy Kacer's home in Toronto. Kacer is Gabi's daughter and has based the story on her mother's experiences.
Kacer, Kathy. The Underground Reporters (Second Story Press, 2005).
In Budejovice, a quiet village in the Czech republic, laws and rules were introduced to restrict the freedom of Jewish people during the dark days of World War II. In a small shack on the small plot of land allocated to the village's Jewish youth, some brave young people decided to create a newspaper to show that despite the new dangers in their lives, they were still creative, energetic and adventurous. Though most of the village's Jews did not survive the war, copies of the newspaper did. The Underground Reporters chronicles how these youth held out hope for a peaceful world to come.
Kacer, Kathy. Night Spies (Tandem Library, 2003).
The courage of righteous Gentiles and partisans during World War II creates a focal point for this account of Jews hiding from the Nazis in Czechoslovakia. Gabi, her mother, and her cousin are given sanctuary in a Christian family's farmhouse. Max has joined his relatives after walking 10 kilometers from his own village following his parents' murder by the Nazis. The cramped conditions are clearly described as are the risks taken by the family and the priest. Gabi and her family can only come out after dark, and readers can feel the difficulty and boredom of remaining quiet and hidden. This isolation provides the impetus for the two youngsters to sneak out in the night only to find a group of partisans in the forest, and the children become scouts for them. Many books have been written about the Holocaust, but there is appeal in Kacer's oft-exciting story and its focused depiction of the drudgery and risks faced by the Jews and anyone who helped to combat the Nazis' progress. Peopled by well-drawn characters, this is an engrossing novel inspired by experiences of Kacer's own family. Some of the history is presented in a heavy-handed way and seems to be superimposed on the story itself, but for the most part the book will appeal to fans of Lois Lowry's Number the Stars (Houghton, 1989). (Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ for School Library Journal).
Kerr, Judith. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Collins, 2002).
Anna was only nine years old in 1933, too busy with her school work and friends to take much notice of Adolf Hitler's face glaring out of political posters all over Berlin. Being Jewish, she thought, was just something you were because your parents and grandparents were Jewish. But then one day her father was unaccountably, frighteningly missing. Soon after, she and her brother, Max, were hurried out of Germany by their mother with alarming secrecy. Reunited in Switzerland, Anna and her family embark on an adventure that would go on for years, in several different countries. They learn many new things: new languages, how to cope with the wildest confusions, and how to be poor. Anna soon discovers that there are special skills to being a refugee. And as long as the family stayed together, that was all that really mattered.
Kerr, M.E. Slap Your Sides (HarperTeen, Reprint edition, 2003).
World War II is raging in Europe, but back home in Sweet Creek, Pennsylvania, Bud Shoemaker, a Quaker and a pacifist, has taken a one-man stand against the fight by declaring himself a conscientious objector. Fourteen-year-old Jubal sees his brother's choice as noble and brave, although most of the town (including Jubal's dream girl, Daria) sees Bud as a coward -- or worse. The line between right and wrong has become alarmingly blurred, and it won't be long before Jubal's family begins to buckle as it struggles to cope with the consequences of Bud's decision.
Kerr, M.E. Gentlehands (HarperTeen, Reissue edition, 1990).
Buddy Boyle lives year-round with his family in unfashionable Seaville, New York, in a cramped little house on the bay. Skye Pennington spends the summers nearby on lavish estate complete with ocean view and a butler named Peacock. But Skye and Buddy fall in love anyway. And every once in a while they visit Buddy's estranged grandfather, who makes them forget they're from opposite sides of town. Then a reporter appears, searching for a man known as Gentlehands, a man with a horrifying past. Who is Gentlehands? And what is his connection to Buddy's handsome, aristocratic grandfather? The mystery threatens to shatter Buddy and Skye's relationship, and change their lives forever.
Kimmelman, Mira Ryczke. Echoes from the Holocaust: A Memoir (University of Tennessee Press, 1996),
In 1939, 16-year-old Mira Ryczke was forced by Nazi troops to leave her childhood home in Poland for an uncertain future. In the next five and a half years, Ryczke, through the support of others, memories of her family and sheer luck, survived the Warsaw ghetto, three concentration camps and a death march. Her memoir is simply written and unflinchingly detailed: she recounts being tattooed for identification purposes; waking up in a freezing bunk to touch the cold hand of the girl next to her, who had died during the night; "composing" herself as she attempted to look strong enough to avoid being "selected for death." Ryczke (she married a fellow survivor, Max Kimmelman, in Bavaria and immigrated with him to the United States) decided to recount her life because the "dead cannot speak: they cannot be witnesses to the unspeakable horrors. I am their witness, and my years are numbered. I have to do it for them." (Publisher's Weekly)
King, David C. World War II Days (American Kids in History Series) (Jossey-Bass, 2000).
American Kids in History™Discover Life in America During World War II with Dozens of Exciting Projects, Games, Activities, and Recipes Travel back to 1942 and experience firsthand just how exciting and challenging life was for kids in America during World War II. Spend a year with the Donatos and the Andersens, two families working hard to make ends meet while still making time to have fun. Visit eleven-year-old Frank Donato in San Francisco and share in the thrilling sight of warships heading out to sea under the Golden Gate Bridge. Follow twelve-year-old Shirley Andersen through her family’s wheat farm in southern Minnesota as they prepare for the autumn harvest. Eager to share the fun, adventure, and hard work of their daily lives, Frank and Shirley will show you how to play their favorite games, make cool toys and crafts, and cook up the yummiest recipes! Create a toy periscope out of a cardboard mailing tube and two small pocket mirrors, cook up a delicious Coney Island hot dog, play the exciting game of Sea Battle, and keep track of the weather with a 3-D cloud chart. Packed with entertaining and easy projects, games, and recipes, World War II Days will take you on an exhilarating adventure into one of the most fascinating periods in American history.
Kochenderfer, Lee. The Victory Garden (Yearling, 2003).
It’s 1943, and everyone says the war will be over soon–World War II, that is–but Teresa Marks wonders exactly when that day will come. Her older brother, Jeff, is fighting overseas, and Teresa worries about him, hoping he’ll get home to Kansas safely. As a way of speeding Jeff’s return, Teresa and her dad help the war effort by planting a victory garden. For two years, they’ve planted tomatoes (Jeff’s favorite!) and won taste-testing duels with a curmudgeonly neighbor. But this spring, when the neighbor is hospitalized, Teresa rallies her friends to tend to his garden. She even considers using her secret for growing better tomatoes on her rival’s plants. But her faith in secret weapons, in victory gardens, in people, and in life itself is shattered as the war rages on abroad and death strikes close to home.