Number the Stars | book review

The Synopsis "She was glad to be an ordinary person who would never be called upon for courage." The year is 1943. Life for ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen is a lot different from yours and mine. Food shortages sweep across Denmark, soldiers perch on every streetcorner, and being a Jew…

The Diary of a Young Girl | book review

*Certain books are easier to review differently than in my usual format — this is one of them. Some days, I think my life is really hard. Other days, I'm sitting on my bed, twenty years old, going to college studying what I love best, having just eaten a meal, and am reading Anne Frank's The…

No-No Boy | book review

Title: No-No Boy Author: John Okada Series: n/a Publisher: Washington University Press Publication Date: 1957 Genre(s): Japanese-American, Adult fiction Opening Line: December the seventh of the year 1941 was the day when the Japanese bombs fell on Pear Harbor. The Synopsis After two years in a Japanese internment camp and two more years in jail, Ichiro Yamada is…

All the Light We Cannot See | book review

Title: All the Light We Cannot See Author: Anthony Doerr Series: n/a Publisher: Scribner Publication Date: May 2014 Genre(s): Historical fiction Opening Line: At dusk they pour from the sky. The Synopsis Marie-Laure goes blind when she is just six years old. Her papa, the locksmith for the National Museum of Natural History in Paris,…

Slaughterhouse-Five | book review

Title: Slaughterhouse-Five Author: Kurt Vonnegut Series: n/a Publisher: Delacorte Publishing Publication Date: 1969 Genre(s): Sci-fi, Historical fiction, Satire Opening Line: All this happened, more or less. The Synopsis Billy Pilgrim is going to school to become an optometrist when he is drafted into the Army during World War II. He's a weak, funny-looking young man who is captured behind…

Maus II | book review

Title: Maus II: And Here My Troubles Began Author/Creator: Art Spiegelman Illustrator: Art Spiegelman Series: Maus Publisher: Pantheon Books Publication Date: August 1991 Genre(s): Graphic novel, Memoir, Historical non-fiction Opening Line: Summer vacation. Francoise and I were staying with friends in Vermont. The Synopsis Art resumes recording his father's history as a survivor of the Holocaust, picking up…

Night | book review

Title: Night Author: Elie Wiesel Series: The Night Trilogy Publisher: Hill & Wang Publication Date: 1960 (English translation) Genre(s): Memoir, Historical non-fiction, Young adult Opening Line: They called him Moishe Beadle, as if his entire life he had never had a surname. The Synopsis In 1944, Elie Wiesel's life, among millions of others' lives, was changed forever. He…

Maus I | book review

Title: Maus, I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History Author/Creator: Art Spiegelman Illustrator: Art Spiegelman Series: Maus Publisher: Pantheon Books Publication Date: August 1986 Genre(s): Graphic novel, Memoir, Historical non-fiction Opening Line: It was summer, I remember. I was ten or eleven... The Synopsis Art Spiegelman's father and mother were both sent to Auschwitz in 1944 during the…

The Devil’s Arithmetic | book review

Title: The Devil's Arithmetic Author: Jane Yolen Series: None Publisher: Puffin Books Publication Date: 1988 Genre(s): Historical fiction, Middle grade Opening Line: "I'm tired of remembering," Hannah said to her mother as she climbed into the car. Book #2 of my Young Adult Lit class! Though I consider this to be more of a middle grade novel. We are beginning…