It’s still really cold. But there are signs of spring hiding in the wings. It’s still light at 5:00 p.m. And there are Easter bunnies for sale at the grocery store. Things are looking up.
Over the past few days, I’ve been reading Leon Leyson’s memoir, The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible on Schindler’s List. Leyson was only 10-years-old in 1939, the year Poland invaded Germany and WWII began. It is an incredible and powerful story, and although I’ve read many accounts of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, I was shocked again by horrific incidents of evil – and courageous acts of generosity. Leyson and his family lived in the Polish ghettos before being sent to a labor camp, and his descriptions of their daily experiences are tough to read. Through a few “lucky” episodes, he becomes the youngest person to be protected by Oskar Schindler, the German businessman who hired Jewish people to work in his enamelware factory. I would recommend this powerful book to kids 12 years of age and up.
I think my next book needs to be sunnier. I read Wave, Sonali Deraniyagala’s memoir of losing her family in the 2004 tsunami and then began The Boy on the Wooden Box. It’s time for Anne of Green Gables or something like that!
Earlier today, I read a preview of books that are scheduled to be published in the fall. Here are a few of the titles that made my heart skip a beat:
Frank Einstein and the Robot Army by Jon Scieszka (a middle grade novel – with robots!)
Quest by Aaron Becker (another book that promises to be as beautiful as Journey, Becker’s Newbery Honor-winning book.)
Telephone by Mac Barnett (Barnett is the author of Extra Yarn so you know this one will be awesome)
The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye (Another one of those authors from whom I would purchase a grocery list! This is a middle grade novel about a boy who moves from Oman to Michigan.)
Bats in the Band by Brian Lies (Bats at the Beach and Bats at the Ballgame are favorites in our school library.)
The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie by Chris Van Allsburg (Chris Van Allsburg is all I need to know. The order will be placed as soon as possible. )
Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by G. Brian Karas (a picture book about the real gorilla that inspired Applegate’s Newbery Award-winning book, The One and Only Ivan.)
Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Bob Shea and illustrated by Lane Smith (a story about a seven-year-old sheriff)
Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (What is it about unicorns? We have a group of girls going through unicorn obsessions right now. They will be very happy about this one.)
And, finally, here is my favorite scene from the week…The Violet Mackerel series of early chapter books have many fans at Inly.