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.
On twitter someone recently asked for recommendations of historical books for boys and I realized I hadn’t written up this one!
The Walls of Cartagena (Simon & Schuster, 2008) by Julia Durango is a historical novel based on real people in the 17th century. This very good and memorable story introduced me to some history and a place previously unknown to me.
Here’s a brief look at the story: Calepino was taken in by a wealthy woman when his slave mother died and has been raised with a life of privilege. But now at 13, because of his gift with languages, he is having to go with Father Pedro and help minister to those coming off the slave ships.
At last year’s SCBWI conference in LA, Julia accepted a Golden Kite for her book Sea of the Dead. I love what Julia says about herself on her blog: “Purveyor of Children’s Books & Monkey Business.” You’ll see why if you read about her other books. I love the picture of her house and her “out of the box” author visit idea, too.