Thursday, November 7, 2013

Shelf Life [kids]

World War II for Kids by Richard Panchyk, 164 pages.
As Remembrance Day approaches, Richard Panchyk’s World War II for Kids deserves special mention among the many informative books for students available from the Stratford Public Library on the subject of the Second World War. 
Jam-packed with information, the book also includes twenty-one related activities which help in some small part to illuminate what the life of a soldier and life on the home front was like during the war years.  Readers can discover the basics of preparing a ration kit, writing a standard “V-mail” letter, writing in code, deciphering a code, using camouflage, going on a reconnaissance mission, tracking latitude and longitude, using military time and other skills.
The origins of World War II, the contributions of women to the war effort, the battles in the Pacific, the role of government propaganda and rationing at home are just some of the topics that are addressed in this detailed, indexed resource.  Portions of letters written by soldiers, people’s memories of the war, photos, maps, a timeline, a glossary and many sources of further information are included. 

** Recommended for ages 9 to 14 years. 

Pieces of the Past: The Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz by Carol Matas, 163 pages.
After the long, dark years of World War II, the fighting, the battles and the bombs had finally ceased.  Peace had been declared.  The war was over.
For many adults and children, however, the trauma caused by the horrors of World War II was far from over.  Rose Rabinowitz was one of those children. 
Rose was the only member of her Jewish family to survive the Holocaust. When the war ended, she immigrated to Canada from Poland and lived with a foster family in Winnipeg.  Suddenly she had to adjust to living in a strange new country with a new language, new family and new school – all while still coping with her nightmarish memories of the recent war.  Not surprisingly, Rose found it difficult to trust other people and to accept friendship. She had problems getting along with her new foster sister and she was bullied at school.
When her foster father gave her a diary, Rose was able to set aside her reservations and write about her former life in Poland, the grim realities of the Warsaw Ghetto and the Holocaust, and her present struggles in Canada.  She wrote about her family members and what had happened to them.
In recording her memories, Rose was able to begin moving forward in rebuilding her life.  
Rose’s story is based on real events and conditions of the war years.  Documents, maps and photos are included in this poignant novel, one of a series of books that skilfully melds historical fact and fictional lives, entitled “Dear Canada”.

** Recommended for ages 9 to 13 years.

This review appeared in The Stratford Gazette on November 7, 2013. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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