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

Caitlin's picture

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.

The Bullet, by Mary Louise Kelly

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When a routine MRI reveals a bullet lodged in Georgetown professor Caroline Cashion’s neck, she’s shocked. The discovery soon leads to other revelations: that she was adopted, and that her birth parents were murdered in front of her—by a killer who was never caught. As the bullet in her neck drifts closer to her spine, Caroline searches for answers in Atlanta, drawing the attention of her parents’ murderer. Soon, she’ll have to make a choice: run for her life, or risk everything to confront the killer.

A suspenseful, expertly-crafted novel of family, secrets, and revenge, perfect for fans of James Patterson, Lee Child, and Harlan Coben.

Juvenile Fiction Selection: The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and A Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson

It is the year 1854 and a deadly cholera outbreak has come to Broad Street in London.  A young Orphan named Eel and his best friend Florrie team up to help Dr. John Snow prove that cholera is spread through water and not by poisonous air, as is the belief at the time.  This is a great story about the history of public health and about one young orphan finding a purpose through science.  Based on true events,this book combines historical fiction, a medical mystery, and a survival story all into one exciting tale.  (Grades 5-8 School Library Journal)  




"A Light that Never Goes Out: the Enduring Saga of The Smiths" by Tony Fletcher

Vita's picture

This is a detailed story of the band The Smiths by a clearly ardent fan that would certainly be of interest to other fans of the band (like myself), but also to anyone following the history of indie music. They are such an English band, and the author details many locations and subtexts that may not be readily apparent to those who are not native Mancunians or familiar with British pop culture and local history. He talks about all of the band’s influences and shows the reader where they fit into musical history. This is a really thick book of 704 pages covering the span of the band’s life, so there’s a lot of detail here, considering they were only together for 6 years.

Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller

Jen's picture

Ever wonder what it would be like to grow up with hoarders as parents? Kimberly Rae Miller dishes it all in this powerful coming-of-age tale about just that. We’ve all got that spot in our house that’s the place we put things that we’re saving for later because we know we’re actually going to use them. Right? Yes? Then months later we stumble across those same prized objects and pitch or donate them because, well, who has the time to do all the things?

Imagine, if you will, that messy place being your entire house and add in never throwing away anything on top of that and you’ll sort of get the idea what it’s like to walk a day in Kim’s shoes. She wasn’t able to ever have friends over and often had to conceal her parents messes and behaviors for fear of children’s services coming and separating her from them. Even worse, one house she and her parents occupied was so messy that it caught fire and they lost absolutely everything they owned. You’d think this would mean a fresh, clean start in a new, uncluttered home but that’s not case as things quickly start to pile up again.  But don’t just take my word for it, read this engrossing title for yourself to learn all about what it’s like to be the child of hoarders. For tackling such serious stuff, it’s quite an enjoyable read but be warned as there are a few graphic moments (think bugs, messes, and even a suicide attempt) that aren’t for the faint of heart.

If you like this title, you should also check out the nonfiction book Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy Frost and the YA novel Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, by Eric Metaxas

Kalyn's picture

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, tells the dramatic story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a brilliant young German scholar who finds himself compelled to risk everything to fight against Hitler’s tyranny. During his lifetime Bonhoeffer started the Confessing Church in Germany, taught in underground seminaries, conspired to assassinate Hitler, and aided the escape of Jews by acting as a double agent in the German Secret Service. The author, Eric Metaxas, narrates Bonhoeffer’s suspenseful life by tracing his growth from a young academic aristocrat to a man of steadfast conscience, conviction and courage. The carefully woven account gives insight into the time in which Bonhoeffer lived and provides ample historical detail without losing sight of the central plot. It is a must read for anyone with interests in history, theology, spy stories or the human heart.


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