As a kid I was horrified to learn about Nazi Germany and the holocaust. How could people think like that?! My naive self thought antisemitism would disappear. And, of course, so would Nazis. Unfortunately not. Here are two books to help middle grade and young adult readers with these topics. Both are told in multiple points of view.
Linked (Scholastic Press, 2021) by Gordon Korman deals with what happens when a student paints a swastika on the school walls. Meet Michael, Lincoln, and Dana all struggling with the aftermath in their quiet town. Who did it and why? (mg novel)
The Assignment (Ember, 2020) by Liza Wiemer starts out with the good intentions of a teacher wanting his students to understand how horrific the genocide of the Jews was, but his approach is wrong and two students–best friends Logan and Cade–take on the battle to get the assignment canceled. (YA novel)
Both stories have surprising twists and are thought provoking.
Gordon Korman is a many-times-published author. On his website this time, I learned his first book was published when he was fourteen!
The Assignment is Liza Wiermer’s second novel and has won numerous honors. Check it out here. Read about Lisa here.
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
The Unteachables (Balzer & Bray, 2019) by Gordon Korman is an inspiring upper middle grade novel with big splashes of humor.
Unusually (for a middle grade) it’s told from multiple points of view, including adults. We get a look at the misfits and delinquents who are isolated from the rest of the student body and put in one class together. These are the kids no one knows what to do with. And this year, their teacher is burned out and only hanging in ’til retirement. But something unexpected happens.
Meet Kiana who doesn’t belong, Mr. Kermit who’s sure it is a conspiracy, Parker with his provisional driver’s license, Aldo who definitely has anger issues, Elaine rhymes with pain, and more. Here’s a book trailer.
Don’t miss this book!
Author Gordon Korman has written over 95 books! Click here to his main book page and then choose what category you’d like to see more of his books.
You can “meet” Gordon here as he talks about how he got started and his most recent novel Restart.
Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (MMGM)
“I was thirteen the first time I saw a police officer up close. He was arresting me for driving without a license. At the time, I didn’t even know what a license was. I wasn’t too clear on what being arrested meant either.” This is another of those great openings which made me definitely want to read on.
Schooled (Hyperion, 2007) by Gordon Korman is about 13-year-old Capricorn Anderson, who was raised on a commune by his grandmother Rain. He’s not been in the real world at all. When his grandmother falls out of a tree and has to go into the hospital and then rehab, he’s put in a foster home. The story is also about Hugh Winkleman, the 8th grade loser, who normally would have been the elected president of the 8th grade, but is now relieved because big-man-on-campus Zack pushes for Cap to be the picked-upon-president.
The story is told in multiple viewpoints. Read more on this author’s site, including some short stories and upcoming book titles.