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When Books Went To War: The Stories That Helped Us Win World War II, by Molly Guptill Manning

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On May 10, 1933, German students (with official encouragement) burned an estimated 25,000 books in a symbolic act meant to “purify” Germany of Jewish influence. The Nazis would continue to burn books throughout their reign, both in their country and in the countries they invaded, in an attempt to stamp out any thought they deemed dangerous to National Socialism, ultimately destroying over 100 million volumes. People around the world reacted in outrage and horror, and in the US, groups of librarians, citizens, politicians, writers, and publishers came together to fight back. Through organized book donation drives and the invention of an entirely new book format—the Armed Services Edition—these fighters in World War II’s “War of Ideas” put 132 million books in the hands of American servicemen and their allies. Their work inspired an entire generation with a love of reading and enshrined books like Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as American classics. When Books Went to War tells their unforgettable story.

Picture Book Selection: And Then It's Spring

What a winter we have had in central Ohio!  Spring is finally here according to the calendar!  Celebrate by checking out “And Then It's Spring” by Julie Fogliano and award-winning artist Erin Stead.  A boy and his dog are tired of brown winter and they dig and plant seeds.  They wait and then wait and then finally it's spring and everything is green and colorful!  Great for ages 4 and up.  

Shooting Victoria: Madness, Mayhem, and the Rebirth of the British Monarchy by Paul Thomas Murphy

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Many historians have made the argument that without Victoria, the British monarchy would have fallen like so many others in the revolutions that swept Europe in 1840s. This text takes the interesting approach in analyzing history through the eight assassination attempts made on the Queen during her 64-year reign. To read about how a few madmen and criminals challenged Victoria and changed Britain, pick up this book about one of Britain’s favorite monarchs.

The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

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What were the girls of Atomic City working on?  Thousands of young women seeking jobs poured into the newly built industrial complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  They were sworn to secrecy about their new lives at Oak Ridge.  All they knew was they were working with a product called tubealloy that was part of the “Project” to build the “Gadget”. It was all classified but everyone was happy because they had work and were being well paid.

Then on August 6, 1945, the Oak Ridge workers learned what their efforts had wrought: the explosion of the “Gadget”—the first atomic bomb.  Detonated over Japan to end World War II, the “Gadget” announced to the world that the Atomic Age had arrived.  Fans of World War II will enjoy this book about the young women who helped the war effort by working to develop the first atomic bomb.

Picture Book Selection: A Poem in Your Pocket

A poet is visiting Elinor's school to celebrate National Poetry Month and every student will be sharing one of their pocket poems.  Elinor has a hard time writing the “perfect” poem and soon everyone in the class has a poem in their pocket except Elinor.  When the visiting poet arrives, Elinor reveals that she could not get her poem right.  With the help of the poet, Elinor learns that real poetry comes from the heart.  Recommended for Grades 1 and above.  

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