Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Story Continues: Lois Lane Double Down and Girl in the Shadows

2016 was a good year for fans of Gwenda Bond's series with new additions to both the Lois Lane and the Cirque American series. And, since we are fans of both series, we decided to bring those new books together in a special addition to The Story Continues feature.

Lois Lane Double Down by Gwenda Bond

Publisher / Year: Switch Press - May 1, 2016

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Source: Review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

The sequel to Lois Lane: Fallout catches up with Lois right after her first big story. She thought the first story would be the hardest, but now she finds herself with something to prove. Why can't all stories be big stories? She agrees to do a human interest piece (grudgingly), but stumbles onto something with big potential in the process. This could be more than news-breaking; it could affect all of Metropolis.

The Lois Lane series is a superhero origin story, combined with a mystery and a tenacious main character. Double Down is a fun read because it in it we get to know many of the characters from the first book even better. We learn about Maddy's twin sister and spend more time with Smallville Guy. The mystery surrounding his identity really deepens in Double Down.

Things get more complicated for Lois in this second installment. The story she's researching affects her friend, Maddy, personally, making the pressure all the more unbearable. There's also a lot going on with SmallvilleGuy. Lois has unanswered questions about their relationship and his identity, and the chatroom is full of confusing buzz that could prove dangerous.

I think the mystery in Double Down is what really kept me reading. I love the feeling of unovering the truth with Lois as she investigates and prepares her story. The reader only knows what Lois knows and it's fun to make deductions along side her.

Lois Lane: Double Down is a fabulous second installment. Gwenda Bond has me eager for more about Lois and her friends in Metropolis.

Girl in the Shadows by Gwenda Bond

Publisher / Year: Skyscape - July 5, 2016

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Source: Review copy from the publisher via NetGalley

Girl in the Shadows is a companion novel to Girl on a Wire, the first book in Gwenda Bond's Cirque American series, and my appreciation of this book was definitely that much greater because I had read and enjoyed the first book. The two books have different main characters, but the setting is the same, and, more importantly, the central conflict in each revolves around the same small magical object. Beyond that it was so much fun for me to visit some old characters, even if they weren't taking center stage this time around. (Hello, Jules! Hello, Remy!) And, I also enjoyed getting to know some of the side characters from Girl on a Wire a little better in this second book. (Dita, darling, you are swell.)

Last year we did a post on Intellectual Recreation featuring books set in circuses and sideshows. In putting together that post, I found that the circus is a setting that really appeals to me, and, I quickly rediscovered that love within the first few pages of Girl in the Shadows. I think I like how circus folk have a life that is so outside the mainstream, and that is definitely the case with Moira. She grew up traveling with her famous magician father and working behind the scenes at his Las Vegas show.

Moira wishes to become a magician herself, and her father is adamantly against this. So, feeling like she has no other option, Moira auditions for the Cirque American. Right away strange things begin to happen, and herein is another reason I enjoy circus settings--they present the perfect opportunity to mingle stage magic with the real deal. Moira's magic, its origins, and her estranged mother play a large role in the mystery of Girl in the Shadows.

Moira truly has a lot on her plate. There's the whole proving herself to her father thing (and who are we kidding, to herself as well), the issue of controlling her newly awakened power, and being on her own for the first time. As if things aren't complicated enough there's this knife-throwing love interest that the reader is not quite sure can be trusted for most of the book. Really, it's a pretty great time. Girl in the Shadows is all the sleight of hand and tricks of the film Now You See Me plus the magical underworld of White Cat. It's a book full of mystery, magic, and suspense.

Lois Lane: Double Down reviewed by Paige.
Girl in the Shadows reviewed by JoLee.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Paige's Favorite Books of 2016

I'm feeling really excited to share my favorite reads of the year with you. I really enjoyed going through all the things I've read and reliving them a little while I compiled this list.

Here's some fun facts about my picks.

Of my 12 favorites:
6 were review copies
2 were audiobooks
6 were fantasy or sci-fi
5 were contemporary
2 were historical fiction or fantasy
3 were middle grade
9 were YA
6 were new-to-me or debut authors

Favorite Book in Verse: Moo by Sharon Creech
I loved this story and way it was told made it even better. The verse enhanced the sights, sounds, and smells of the city and the country. Moo is sweet, sincere, funny, and lovely. I enjoyed every minute of it. (featured here)

Favorite Fantasy: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
The Star-Touched Queen is masterfully written. Mayavati is a strong, fiery character with drive and resolve, and the setting is spectacular. The language and images are beautiful. Inspired by Hindu stories, Roshani Chokshi weaves a world of magic, secrets, and fate. I fell into this book and didn't want to get out. (featured here)

Favorite Book by a Beloved Author: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
I have enjoyed all of Kasie West's books, but this one really captured me. The relationship between our main characters was funny and tender and really fun to watch. Also, the main character is an aspiring songwriter--a girl after my own heart. It is always so fun to read a Kasie West book. (featured here)

Favorite Middle Grade Book: Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
This is what a middle grade book should be. The three main characters are ordinary seventh grade girls with ordinary problems that were told in an extraordinary way. I loved following the girls with their individual problems and especially enjoyed the mystery character. What a great way to tell a story and to show the possible future of our girls. (featured here)

Favorite Audiobook: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I completely missed the Fangirl boat, but, when the audiobook was available through my library, I jumped aboard. I loved the deep. involved, interesting characters; the story within a story; and the complicated, but lovely relationships. Listening to it was a treat. The main reader was excellent and I loved the separate reader for all things Simon Snow. (featured here)

Favorite Book Club Book: A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
This story is told in vignettes, which is a favorite of mine, but still had a beautiful character arc. We laughed a lot as we discussed this book and the grandmother's antics. We also enjoyed thinking about the time period and how things have changed and talking about the relationship between the grandmother and grandchildren.

Favorite Parallel Reality: Everything that Makes You by Moriah McStay
Everything That Makes You follows two possibilities and shows that one event can change not just one person, but everyone around her. Moriah McStay takes the parallel realities tale a one step farther as she tells the story of this girl years after a choice split her fate. The whole story was well thought out and detailed. It felt different than most parallel reality books. This is a fantastic debut novel. (featured here)

Favorite Magical Realism: The Lost and Found by Katrina Leno
This book is a great example of magical realism because no one in the world quite believes in the magic around them, even when it stares them in the face. It has a lovely, mystical feel. It was the feel of the book that held me captive as I rooted for the characters. (featured here)

Favorite Historical Fantasy: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
This book is a combination of historical fiction and magical realism. I love the subtlety of the magic Rae Carson includes in this world. I love Lee's tenacity and the people she meets on her journey. Walk on Earth a Stranger is such an interesting and fun read; the perfect blend of history and fantasy. (featured here)

Most Beautiful Read: Orbiting Jupiter by Gary Schmidt
I feel like saying too many words will diminish the beauty of this book, but I will say the images invoked by the words of this story were flawless. The book is beautiful, tender, heartbreaking. Gary Schmidt captures things so perfecting. Truly lovely.

Favorite New Series: The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
As you know, we are fans of Greek and Roman mythology here at Intellectual Recreation, and this book did not disappoint. In fact, it exceeded expectations. There was just something about listening to Riordan's character of Apollo narrating and spending almost a whole book at Camp Half-blood that created a truly wonderful experience. I'm really looking forward to the next installment.

Favorite Series Ending: The Raven King by Maggie Stievfater
This was my most anticipated new release this year. I loved all of the Raven Cycle and was excited and nervous to read its conclusion. But, of course, Maggie Stievfvater did not disappoint. It really was the perfect ending for all the characters. It was satisfying, and heartbreaking, and lovely. It is a series I will revisit over and over of that I am convinced. (featured here)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Favorite Books of 2016

The end of the year is my absolute favorite time to be a book blogger. I don't think I could ever get tired of reading year-end favorites and best-of's posts.

Here are the best of my bests in a variety of fun categories.

Of the 12 favorites:
9 were released in 2016
3 were released prior to 2015
2 are contemporaries
1 is nonfiction
7 are fantasy or science fiction
2 of those are historical fantasy
4 are historical fiction
A staggering 11 were consumed as audiobooks

Favorite Historical Fiction: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
Told through letters and journal entries, this novel is the story of Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf, and the Bloomsbury Group. I really loved this book. It's one of those books that I've been telling all my real-life friends about. I would love to read a sequel. (featured here)

Favorite Debut: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
I feel like I've done all kinds of gushing about Lilac Girls this year. This is a truly wonderful work of Historical Fiction. I have read a lot of World War II books, and this is the one I keep recommending. (featured here

Favorite Retelling: And I Darken by Kiersten White
Ms. White recasts Vlad the Impaler, famous for being the historical inspiration for Dracula, as a smart and terrifyingly vicious girl, Lada Dragwlya. With great character development, lots of political intrigue, a high-stakes love triangle, and fabulous historical atmosphere, this book is a true tour de force. (featured here)

Favorite Series Finale: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
As The Raven King's publication approached, I oscillated between feelings of excitement and complete dread. Excitement because I just had to know what was going to happen to these beloved characters. And dread because then the series would be over. This series has meant so much to me. See all the reasons why here.

Favorite Audiobook: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Isn't it nice when your most highly anticipated book of the year turns out to be insanely amazing? I think I liked Gemina even more than the first in the series, Illuminae. The audio version has a full cast, sound effects, and music. It was really an all-encompassing experience. The text version is, of course, amazing too, and now I kind of what to listen to Illuminae and read Gemina.

Favorite Nonfiction: Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin 
Steve Sheinkin is the master of engaging young adult history books. If you are like me, the Vietnam War is something of a hole in your historical knowledge. This book helped to fill in some of the gaps. The major themes in this book are still very relevant today, and I've been telling everyone I know to read this book. (featured here)

Favorite 2015 Publication read in 2016: Winter by Marissa Meyer
I finished Winter on January 6th, 2017. Talk about starting the year off right. The Lunar Chronicles was such a fantastic source of delight for me over the last five years. I have loved every one of the books and have fallen pretty hard for these characters. See all the reasons I love this series here.

Current Series Obsession: Lockwood & Company by Jonathan Stroud
I need this series to last forever because I have this lovely tradition of reading the new one every Halloween. The latest in the series, The Creeping Shadow, was absolutely fantastic. I had this giddy smile on my face the entire book while being terrified at the same time. 

Favorite Contemporary: Frannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup
I fell hard for this book. I basically ignored my life and read it in one day. With gorgeous prose, this is the quiet kind of book that I love best. While it handles big ideas, like racism, class, and sexuality, it does so on a personal scale through Frannie and her engagement with the world. (featured here)

Favorite Sequel: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
I liked A Torch Against the Night just as much as the first in the series, An Ember in the Ashes. I'm amazed with how rich this world is becoming, and I love that Sabaa Tahir is not playing it safe. I also especially enjoyed having Helene's added perspective. She was one of my favorite characters in the first book, and I loved learning more about her in this installment.

Favorite Book Club Book: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

When I lived in Kansas City, I had a fabulous book club, and this fall we had a reunion in Nashville. (Yes, the book club was that awesome.) Because it was a book club reunion we had to read a book and have a book discussion while we were there. We chose this one because it is set in Tennessee, and reading a novel that was set in a place I was visiting was such a fun way to prepare for a trip. I was surprised by how serious and gritty this novel is. The book took me through the entire gamut of emotions. I laughed out loud and cried while reading it. 

Most Hilarious Read: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
This is the not-entirely-true story of Jane Gray who ruled England for nine days after the death of Edward VI. It's obvious the authors had a fantastic time writing this book together. I laughed out loud so many times. I loved every moment of this book and was so sad to see it end! (featured here)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Highly Anticipacted Books for the First Half of 2017

With the calendar switching over to 2017 in just a couple of days, it is time once again for a look at my most highly anticipated upcoming releases. I always love hearing what people are dying to get their hands on, so let me know in the comments which books you need ASAP.

 Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder:
The recent additions to The Poison Study series have all been fantastic. I'm sure this one will be too. (Series featured here and here.)

Silver Stars by Michael Grant:
This is the sequel to the fabulous WWII alternate history, Front Lines. And guess what? I already read it. I think fans of the first book will be quite happy with this one. (Series featured here.)

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken:
You know I'm always up for a good time travel novel, and Passenger had such a horrible cliffhanger! We all need to know what happens. (Series featured here.)

Caraval of Stephanie Garber:
This debut novel sounds so mysterious, and I'm always up for a good circus setting.

By Your Side by Kasie West:
We are huge Kasie West fans at Intellectual Recreation. For me, the synopsis causes flashbacks to Help! I'm a Prisoner in the Library! Did anyone else read that book as a kid? (Kasie West's other books here, here, here, here, here, and here.)

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro:
I loved the first book in this series about the great-great grandchildren of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. I'm so excited for the sequel. (Series featured here.)

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig:
This is another time travel book and another sequel. I just love the whole ship and hand-drawn map aspect of time travel in Heidi Heilig's series. (Series featured here.)

Gilded Cage by Vic James:
I'm so intrigued by this start of a new series set in an alternate England with magic and a very strict class structure.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor:
I just loved The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy. I'm excited to see what Ms. Taylor has in store for us now.

Night Witches by Kathryn Lasky:
I'm excited for this book because I've long thought that the Russian Night Witches of World War II would make for an excellent YA novel.

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zenter:
Jeff Zenter's debut, The Serpent King, was such an incredible first book. I'm excited to see where he takes us next.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer:
I heard that this contemporary about a grieving daughter is set in Baltimore. And that detail, along with the stunning cover, is enough for me.

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan:
I loved the first book in The Trials of Apollo series. Rick Riordan is the master.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han:
More Lara Jean. Yes, please. (Series featured here and here.)

The Crown's Fate by Evelyn Skye:
The first book in this series was so much fun and hit a bunch of my sweet spots.

The Next Together by Lauren James:
This book was published in the UK a couple of years ago, and we are finally going to get to read it in the US come June.

Now I Rise by Kiersten White:
And I Darken was so incredible. Words fail me. I need the sequel. (Series featured here.)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Favorite YA (+ one Adult) Debut Novels of 2016

We are in the midst of my favorite season to be a book blogger: the season when all the favorite lists and book awards come out.

I read 25 debut novels this year, which is exactly one more than I read last year. It's fun to discover new authors just as their books are coming out and to be part of the excitement that comes from that first publication. We also love participating in That Artsy Reader Girl's Debut Author Challenge. A big congratulations to all the first-time authors we were able to feature on Intellectual Recreation this year! Here are some of my (JoLee's) favorites.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro:
Charlotte Holmes and James Watson are the great-great-grandson and the great-great-granddaughter of the famous detective duo. I loved this gender-swapped homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I can't wait to read the sequel! (featured here)

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly:
Lilac Girls is my (not-so) sneaky adult fiction addition to this mostly YA list. I couldn't leave it off because it's one of the best World War II novels I've ever read. I am amazed that this is Martha Hall Kelly's debut.

Frannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup:
I read this gorgeous debut all in one day. It's set in Baltimore, which is close to home, and I was able to meet Karen Hattrup and tell her how much I loved her book at her launch party. (featured here)

The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock:
Set in 1970's Alaska and revolving around the tough lives of four teenagers, this book has a simple elegance that only comes with superb writing. (featured here)

Trouble is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly:
I'm cheating a bit on this one because it was actually published in November 2015, but, because that is so close to the end of the year, I couldn't get it in before the calendar switched over. This book deserves to be on a favorite debut list, so I'm putting it on this one! (featured here)

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland:
This debut is so compulsively readable despite the fact that it is not an action-heavy plot. I think I finished it in two sittings. The overarching themes deal with friendship and romance and trying to figure out which is which when the line gets blurry. (featured here)

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner:
What a surprise this stunning debut turned out to be. Wonderfully evocative of place, this book took me through the entire gamut of emotions. I laughed out loud and cried while reading this book.

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye:
I really enjoyed the mix of magic, competition, and old Russia in this book. It reminded me a bit of The Night Circus, which, in my book, is always a very good thing.
Wait for Me by Caroline Leech:
Okay, so I'm cheating bit with this book too because it doesn't come out until January of 2017. But, I loved Caroline Leech's Scottish WWII novel so much that I just couldn't bare to leave it off the list. (featured here)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Reading on a Theme: Young Women in World War II

Our second World War II Wednesday features books about young women navigating the difficult war years. As luck would have it, each of our leading ladies hails from a different country. I'm constantly amazed by how many stories there are to tell about World War II. I love learning from history fiction, but I love how these books made me feel even more.

Martha Hall Kelly tells the stories three women in Lilac Girls, American Caroline Ferriday, German Herta Oberheuser, and Polish Kasia Kuzmerick. Kelly takes us through the early years of the war, the awful time at Ravensbruck, and then, she does something that was a little unexpected but greatly appreciated: she takes us far beyond the conclusion of war. I have read so many World War II books, and I can think of very few that spend any significant time on the aftermath and how the war impacted individuals for years to come. It was so uplifting to read about how Caroline and her mother cared about these Polish women and how so many others stepped up to help as well many years after the war's conclusion.

The setting is 1945 Scotland, where Lorna works on her father's farm, goes to school, and waits for her brothers to come home from the war. With farming essential to the war effort and farmhands scarce, German POWs from the nearby camp are assigned to help on the farms. Lorna is horrified by the thought of working alongside the enemy, but it turns out that Paul Vogel, scarred and battered, is not at all what she expected. Beyond its great setting and forbidden romance, Wait for Me is a book of humanity and healing. I loved this stunning debut by Caroline Leech even more after I read the Author's Note and learned how rooted in fact the story really is. Wait for Me is out January 31, 2017. Review copy from Edelweiss. 

The Netherlands:
In 1943 Amsterdam, Hanneke is a courier for her boss who dabbles in the black market. An unexpected request from a customer--to find the Jewish girl who vanished from her hidden room--leads Hanneke to the Dutch resistance and a greater knowledge of the terrors the Germans have wrought on her countrymen. I purchased Girl in the Blue Coat on a whim from Audible and ended up absolutely loving it. Monica Hesse does an excellent job evoking the setting of the World War II Amsterdam, and I really enjoyed learning more about the war years in The Netherlands. Hanneke is a strong character with a lot of passion and a lot of hurt who must decide if she will choose to fight back in the face of great danger.  

It's July 1940, and Peggy and her mother and brother are staying with Peggy's aunt and uncle on England's southern coast. When a plane crashes near their farm Peggy finds Henryk, a young Polish pilot, who has been traumatized by his time with the RAF. Against her better judgment, Peggy finds herself harboring Henryk. This is certainly a dangerous situation for Henryk, and it's dangerous for Peggy as well, thanks to the secrets her family is hiding from their neighbors. Lydia Syson's book is lush in setting and rooted in history. That Burning Summer was another great addition to all the Polish-centered World War II books I've been reading lately. That Burning Summer is out in the U.S. January 24th, 2017. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Even before I read this novel, I was intrigued by the 2010 discovery of the shut-up and forgotten Paris apartment that inspired it. (Article and images here.) Alyson Richman imagines the story behind both the original owner of the apartment, Marthe de Florian, and her granddaughter, Solange. The Velvet Hours alternates between the Belle Epoque of Marthe's younger years and the early years of World War II. The result is a stunning contrast between that time of rich elegance and closeted courtesans and the emerging modern world of the 1940s. I loved the premise of this book and its underlying themes of family secrets and lost loves. The Velvet Hours was out September 6, 2016. Review copy from NetGalley.

All reviews by JoLee.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

World War II Nonfiction for Young Readers

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. 2016 marks 75 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into World War II. (Check out Remember Pearl Harbor for events and news.) In commemoration we have a series of World War II posts that will coming your way over the next few weeks.

To start we have a fabulous bunch of nonfiction books about World War II all written for young readers (but great for older readers too). This collection is primarily centered on the children and teenagers whose lives were drastically altered because of the war.

Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport by Emma Carlson Berne:
Thousands of Jewish children were rescued from Germany between 1938 and 1940 through humanitarian efforts. Their exodus is known as the Kindertransport. This book designed for young readers tells the stories of seven Jewish children who escaped Germany through these means. The book reproduces many of the children's own words--giving voice to these young, displaced children. Reading about the lengths some parents took to get their children out of Germany was heartbreaking. Supplemented with photographs and discussion questions, this book is a great resource. Out February 1, 2017 from Capstone Press.

Going Solo by Roald Dahl:
Going Solo is part two of Dahl's autobiography written for young readers. The first, Boy, tells of his youth and experiences at school. In Going Solo, Dahl takes his first job, moves to Africa to work for Shell, and then joins the Royal Air Force. Dahl offers an interesting perspective on the war because he is in Africa when the war begins. He does his training and much of his service in Africa and the Middle East, as well. Dahl finds himself in some very harrowing circumstances. Also, I admire his honesty concerning some of the military blunders and instances of incompetence that impacted him as a soldier. I have read Going Solo several times, and it is one of my very favorite books.

Krysia: A Polish Girl's Stolen Childhood During World War II by Krystyna Mihulka and
Krystyna Mihulka tells the story of her childhood in this moving memoir. Krysia was nine when the Germans invaded Poland in 1939. Hitler had made a pact with Stalin and the two powers divided up Poland between themselves. Krysia and her family lived on the Russian side. Krystyna, now in her 80s, tells the story of her family's deportation by the Soviets to Kazakhstan and their struggles to be reunited with their relatives. The more I read about WWII, the more I am astounded by what the Polish people went through. I'm so glad that Krystyna Muhulka decided to write her story. Her tale is an aspect of the war that is not as well known and should certainly be preserved. Out January 1st, 2017 from Chicago Review Press. 

The Ship to Nowhere by Rona Arato:
Millions of people were displaced during World War II. The Ship to Nowhere tells the story of a Jewish refugee, eleven-year-old Rachel Landesman, who, forced to flee from her home during WWII, set sail with her mother and sister in 1947 on the Exodus. The Exodus attempted to take 45,000 Jewish immigrants into Palestine illegally. Written for middle-school ages children, Rona Arato, writes the narrative from Rachel's point of view. Rachel and several key players tell the stories of their past and express their hopes for the future. With the refugee crisis today, this is certainly a timely book. Out October 4, 2016 from Second Story Press.

Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti:
This book posits that one of the reasons that so many Germans embraced Hitler's program is because they had been indoctrinated from a young age. The Hitler Youth Programs fed Hitler's war machine. To read about brainwashing on this level is so terrifying. Susan Campbell Bartoletti tells the stories of several former Hitler Youth members. Most fully embraced Hitler's program but some bravely resisted despite the great danger. Bartoletti's book is an important reminder of how despots take hold of populations. It is a powerful read. 2006 Newberry Honor book from Scholastic.

Irena's Children: A True Story of Courage (Young Readers' Edition) by Tilar Mazzeo:
In Nazi-occupied Poland, Irena Sendler saved 2,500 Jewish children from death and deportation. Hers is an incredible story. She took countless life-threatening risks organizing a network of resistance workers, moving in and out of the Warsaw Ghetto, hiding children across the country, and keeping a list of their locations. Poland suffered horribly during World War II, and many of their survival stories were suppressed due to Soviet occupation after the war. It is so important that these powerful stories are preserved. I was amazed by Irena's strength and honor and so appalled by the horrible circumstances the Polish people found themselves in. Out September 26, 2016 from Margaret K. McElderry Books.

See American History: World War II, 1939-1945 by James I Robertson, Illustrated by Mort Kunstler:
This short, illustrated overview of America's military involvement in World War II is something that I can see a lot of kids loving. I know I would have liked it as a child. The beauty of this book really does lie in Mort Kunstler's illustrations. As color photography was very rare in the 1940s, the illustrations give readers the chance to see WWII planes, soldiers, and ships in full color. The illustrations are detailed and many will warrant lengthy examinations. The text itself is concise but informative and explains the illustrations well. Out November 8, 2016 from Abbeville Kids.

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