Young Adult Fiction--Hahn to Hughes
Hahn, Mary Downing. Following in My Own Footsteps (HarperTrophy, 1998).
As World War II rages in Europe, there are battles closer to home for sixth-grader Gordy, even after his physically and verbally abusive, alcoholic father is put behind bars. Gordy knows his family is a mess?as readers of Stepping on the Cracks will remember, his four younger siblings are like "puppies nobody'd bothered to train," one of his older brothers has deserted the Army, and his mother has become "dull and vacant." Still, the feisty protagonist is quick to defend them in front of his prim (and wealthy) grandmother when the family moves from Maryland into her house in North Carolina. Before long Gordy wonders if the new clothes and regular meals provided by his grandmother are enough to change his life?especially when his mother decides to give her husband a second chance. While some elements of the plot are predictable if not overdramatized, the complex characterizations, period setting and Gordy's brave attempts to break a cycle of violence will hold readers' interest. (Publisher’s Weekly)
Hahn, Mary Downing. Stepping on the Cracks (HarperTrophy, Reprint, 1992).
Margaret and her best friend Elizabeth both have brothers fighting the war against Hitler and, like everyone else they know, they are filled with feelings of patriotism. But the girls are also involved in their own personal war at home. Gordy Smith, the worst bully in sixth grade, teases and torments them, and Margaret is scared to death of him. However, when Gordy and his pals Toad and Doug grow bolder than ever, Margaret and Elizabeth come up with a daring plan to get even. That's when the girls discover a shocking secret about Gordy that turns their lives upside-down and draws them into a startling confrontation with family, friends...and their own strongly held ideas.
Hest, Amy and Sonja Lamut (Illustrator). Love You, Soldier (Candlewick, 2000).
Katie is just seven and her father is leaving, going to fight in a faraway war, and no one knows when he will come home again. With Papa away, Katie and her mother do the best they can. Katie makes friends with Old Mrs. Leitstein downstairs. Mama's best friend Louise comes to visit, and then to stay, because her husband is fighting in the war, too, and Louise is going to have a baby.
One stormy day while Mama is at work, Louise says the baby is coming, and Katie helps her through the blizzard to the hospital. Mrs. Leitstein and Louise and her new baby come to seem almost like family to Katie. Then one day, a telegram man brings Mama an envelope with stars on it, and life will never be the same. Through Katie's keen and tender eyes, Amy Hest tells an intensely moving story about the changes war brings to one family.
Hoobler, Thomas and Dorothy Hoobler. Aloha Means Come Back: The Story of a World War II Girl (Silver Burdett Press, 1993).
Laura and her mother join her Navy father in Hawaii in 1941, where suspicion against the Japanese American residents runs high in an atmosphere of expectation that the United States and Japan will go to war.
Holliday, Laurel. Children in the Holocaust and World War II: Their Secret Diaries (Washington Square Press, 1996).
Diary entries written by young people in ghettos, concentration camps, cities, and a Copenhagen prison camp offer insightful comments and glimpses of life during World War II. Each selection is introduced by a brief biography that includes the author's name, country, age, family circumstances before and during the war, and concludes with circumstances of death or postwar life. Nine girls and 14 boys, Jews and gentiles, aged 10 to 18, are featured. Teens should be interested in reading about the sexploits of Joan Wyndham, a 16-year-old London resident; her suburban neighbor, Colin Perry, 18, and his detailed recording of air raids; resistance fighter Hannah Senesh, 17; and Danish spy Kim Malthe-Brun, 18. (Barbara Hawkins, Oakton High School, Fairfax, VA for School Library Journal)
Homan, Lynn M. and Thomas Reilly. Tuskegee Airmen Story (Pelican Publishing Company, 2002).
After two African American children find their grandfather's World War II uniform and medals, their grandmother encourages them to ask him about the war. He tells them about his experiences in the Tuskegee Airmen fighter group, the difficulties of living in a segregated society, and how the African Americans' contribution helped win the war abroad and the war against segregation at home. The authors, who also wrote Black Knights: The Story of the Tuskegee Airmen (2001) for adults, undoubtedly know their subject, though the presentation here is somewhat stilted. The fictional framework, with its sometimes-contrived questions adds little; however, the grandfather's narrative does a good job of explaining who the Tuskegee Airmen were and what they achieved. Similarly, the paintings of the children and grandparents that illustrate the present-day story are more stilted than those showing the Tuskegee Airmen and their world. Apparently the only book on this subject accessible to young children, this will be a useful addition to many school and public library collections. (Carolyn Phelan for Booklist)
Hostetter, Joyce Moyer. Blue (Calkins Creek Books, 2006).
Thirteen-year-old Ann Fay always wanted to be just like her father, but when he gives her a pair of overalls before going off to fight Hitler, her feelings are mixed: "Wearing britches so I could take the place of my daddy wasn't the same as wearing them so I could climb trees." Minding the home front gets harder after she loses her youngest brother to a polio outbreak, then contracts the disease herself. Hostetter weaves her own North Carolina community's history into heartfelt fiction, marked by an agreeable, vernacular narrative and unobtrusive symbolism surrounding the color blue--the hue of both Ann Fay's overalls and the pesky wisteria vine that, like grown-up responsibility made palpable, threatens to overtake her victory garden. An incongruous structural rift mars the novel's latter half, set in the polio hospital, where the heart-tugging family drama gives way to a programmatic story line about an obstacle-laden friendship between Ann Fay and an African American patient. Still, the intriguing history of the illness and the powerful first-person voice will propel readers through to the novel's deeply satisfying conclusion. (Jennifer Mattson for Booklist)
Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki. Farewell to Manzanar: A True Story of Japanese American Experience During and After the World War II Internment (Bantam Books, 1983).
Jeanne Wakatsuki was seven years old in 1942 when her family was uprooted from their home and sent to live at Manzanar internment camp--with 10,000 other Japanese Americans. Along with searchlight towers and armed guards, Manzanar ludicrously featured cheerleaders, Boy Scouts, sock hops, baton twirling lessons and a dance band called the Jive Bombers who would play any popular song except the nation's #1 hit: "Don't Fence Me In." Farewell to Manzanar is the true story of one spirited Japanese-American family's attempt to survive the indignities of forced detention . . . and of a native-born American child who discovered what it was like to grow up behind barbed wire in the United States.
Hughes, Dean. Since You Went Away (Deseret Book Company, 2005).
Wally Thomas didn’t know how many days and nights he had been marching up the coast of the Bataan Peninsula. He was almost too numb to think, too full of pain. He tried to keep a steady pace, but the guards pressured the prisoners to keep moving, forced them close together, and in their exhaustion the men stumbled and knocked each other off stride. When that happened, the extra effort was almost overwhelming; there were times when Wally though he would go down - and not get up - the way so many other prisoners had already done. With each day getting worse in the Bataan death march, Wally could die of hunger, exposure, or even violence. Will his growing faith be enough to pull him through?
Bobbi, now a nurse in the navy, meets a handsome young officer. She’s not sure how she feels about him, however, or whether he feels anything at all for her. Alex is in training as a paratrooper, but can he stick it out? And even if he can, how can he bring himself to fight the German people, whom he learned to love on his mission? Even young Gene knows he’ll be joining the service, but he wonders what kind of a soldier he’ll make.
Hughes, Dean. Rumors of War (Deseret Book Company, 2005).
The elders could see nothing but smoke until they turned the corner onto the street where the fire was. And then, both of them stopped. "The synagogue!" Elder Thomas said. It had never occurred to him that anyone - even the Nazis - would do such a thing.Elder Thomas got his camera out. He snapped the shot but then heard someone say, in German, "What are you doing there?" He tucked the camera inside his coat, under his arm. He tried to appear normal, but his heart was suddenly beating hard. A man was crossing the narrow street and coming toward them. "Making pictures?" the man asked as he walked closer. Elder Thomas took a better look. He saw what he feared: the black uniform with silver trim and braided hat. Gestapo. Elder Alex Thomas wants only to teach the gospel to the people of Germany. But it soon becomes obvious that he will never complete his mission. War is coming, and that will affect not only Elder Thomas but also his family back home in Salt Lake City.
Hughes, Dean. Far from Home (Deseret Book Company, 2005).
All right, let’s go. Alex saw terror in Howie’s eyes as he took off before Alex could. Howie ran hard, angling back and forth only a little, mostly just getting as far away as afast as he could. Alex was a faster runner, and he could make a few more zigs and zags in his path and still keep up. For a time, it all seemed unnecessary. The two were keeping away from the road, and no one else was nearby. But then bullets began to thump into the plowed ground around them, and suddenly Howie went down. In Far From Home, the third volume of Children of the Promise, Alex Thomas is still battling the Nazi forces. He’s also worried about whether or not he can preserve the lives of the men in his company, especially Howie, a particularly young and inexperienced soldier. But his biggest concern is staying alive for his wife, Anna, in England. In Japan, Wally is still a prisoner of war. Abused by his captors, he’s forced to work long hours in the coal mines. Will he learn from his experience, or will it just make him bitter? Or will he even survive? In Hawaii, Bobbi is hoping for word from her boyfriend, Richard. When she learns that his ship has gone down, she wonders is he’s gone down with it and as the days pass, the odds of his survival don’t look good. In Germany, Heinrich Stolz is working as a spy for British Intelligence. But as much as he can, he’s also looking for his missing son, Peter. When he loses his identification papers, he wonders if he can escape from Germany alive. On the home front, stake president Alexander Thomas is becoming wealthy from his weapons factory, which is actually being run by his wife, Bea. But their teenage daughter La Rue is asserting her independence more and more, and they’re not sure what to do about it. They’re also wondering if they’ll ever be together as a family again. Far From Home is a moving, powerful novel about the effects of adversity, and about the love of family members for each other.
Hughes, Dean. Children of Promise (Deseret Book Company, 2005).
The elders could see nothing but smoke until they turned the corner onto the street where the fire was. And then, both of them stopped. The synagogue! Elder Thomas said. It had never occurred to him that anyone, even the Nazis would do such a thing. Elder Thomas got his camera out. He snapped the shot but then heard someone say, in German, “What are you doing there?” He tucked the camera inside his coat, under his arm. He tried to appear normal, but his heart was suddenly beating hard. A man was crossing the narrow street and coming toward them. “Making pictures?” the man asked as he walked closer. Elder Thomas took a better look. He saw what he feared: the black uniform with silver trim and braided hat. Gestapo. Elder Alex Thomas wants only to teach the gospel to the people of Germany. But it soon becomes obvious that he will never complete his mission. War is coming, and that will affect not only Elder Thomas but also his family back home in Salt Lake City. In the family is Wally, Elder Thomas’s younger brother, who usually just wants ot have a good time, but lately doesn’t seem to care much about anything. There’s his sister Bobbi, who is supposed to marry Phil Clark, the most eligible bachelor in the Salt Lake Valley. The problem is, she can’t ignore her attraction to Dr. Stinson, a University of Utah professor who’s not a member of the Church. And there are Elder Thomas’s parents, D. Alexander Thomas, stake president and his wife, Bea, who want their children to be true to the values and ideals they’ve taught them. But President and Sister Thomas are finding they can’t just tell their children what to do anymore, and they’re worried about what will happen when the United States enters a war that no one seems able to stop.
Hughes, Dean. Soldier Boys (Simon Pulse, Reprint, 2003).
At the age of fifteen, Dieter's blind devotion gets him promoted from Hitler Youth into the German army. Dieter's determined to prove his allegiance and bravery all costs. Spence, just sixteen, drops out of his Utah high school to begin training as a paratrooper. Spence wants to prove to his friends and family that he really can be something. Dieter’s and Spence’s worst fear was that the war would end too soon—that they wouldn't get the chance to prove themselves. But when they finally see the action they were hoping for, it's like nothing they could have ever imagined.
Hughes, Dean. When We Meet Again (Deseret Book Company, 2001).
Following the Battle of the Bulge, Alex Thomas is reassigned — not without reluctance — to an intelligence unit in Germany. The new assignment challenges Alex's deepest moral values and is more life threatening than combat. As a POW in Japan, Wally suffers torture that may only find relief in death, while Bobbi sorts out her true feelings when she runs into Professor David Stinson thousands of miles away from home.
As the Thomas siblings face new trials in this fourth installment of Dean Hughes's best-selling series, the tides of war appear to ebb as Germany falls to allied forces in Europe and Japan's grip on the Pacific is loosened by a new, extremely powerful weapon—the atomic bomb. Don't miss this exciting episode in the five-volume series.
Hughes, Dean. As Long As I Have You (Deseret Book Company, 2000).
In As Long As I Have You, the final volume of the Children of the Promise series, author Dean Hughes presents a moving picture of what life was like for an ordinary Latter Day Saints family at the end of World War II.