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World War II


DECEMBER

Symphony for the City of the Dead

M.T. Anderson

A 2016 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Finalist. In September 1941, Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht surrounded Leningrad in what was to become one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history—almost three years of bombardment and starvation that culminated in the harsh winter of 1943–1944. More than a million citizens perished. Survivors recall corpses littering the frozen streets, their relatives having neither the means nor the strength to bury them. Residents burned books, furniture, and floorboards to keep warm; they ate family pets and—eventually—one another to stay alive. Trapped between the Nazi invading force and the Soviet government itself was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who would write a symphony that roused, rallied, eulogized, and commemorated his fellow citizens—the Leningrad Symphony, which came to occupy a surprising place of prominence in the eventual Allied victory. This is the true story of a city under siege: the triumph of bravery and defiance in the face of terrifying odds. It is also a look at the power—and layered meaning—of music in beleaguered lives. Symphony for the City of the Dead is a masterwork thrillingly told and impeccably researched by National Book Award–winning author M. T. Anderson.

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What I Saw and How I Lied

Judy Blundell

In 1947, teenage Evie, smitten by a handsome ex-GI who seems to have a secret hold on her stepfather Joe, finds herself caught in a complicated web of lies whose devastating outcome changes her life and that of her family forever.

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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

John Boyne

The story of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas is very difficult to describe. Usually we give some clues about the book on the cover, but in this case we think that would spoil the reading of the book. We think it is important that you start to read without knowing what it is about. If you do start to read this book, you will go on a journey with a nine-year-old boy called Bruno. And sooner or later you will arrive with Bruno at a fence. We hope you never have to cross such a fence.

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The FitzOsbornes at War

Michelle Cooper

In this third installment of the Montmaray Journals, Sophie and her family come together to support the war effort during World War I, meanwhile fighting to protect their beloved Montmaray.

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Resistance

Carla Jablonski, Leland Purvis

When their friend Henri's parents disappear and Henri goes into hiding because of his Jewish ancestry, siblings Paul and Marie must convince the French Resistance that even children can help in their fight against the Germans. Original.

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The Art of Keeping Cool

Janet Taylor Lisle

Set during World War II, young Robert worries about his cousin who, an artist himself, becomes intrigued by the mysterious German painter living near them in the woods as it is rumored that he may be a spy.

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The Port Chicago 50

Steve Sheinkin

The Newbery Award-winning and National Book Award finalist author of Bomb presents an account of the 1944 civil rights protest involving hundreds of African-American Navy servicemen who were unjustly charged with mutiny for refusing to work in unsafe conditions after the deadly Port Chicago explosion.

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Between Shades of Gray

Ruta Sepetys

“Few books are beautifully written, fewer still are important; this novel is both.” --The Washington Post Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions. Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously-and at great risk-documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart. Praise for BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY: “A superlative first novel. A hefty emotional punch.”--The New York Times Book Review “A brilliant story of love and survival.”--Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak and Wintergirls * “Beautifully written and deeply felt…an important book that deserves the widest possible readership.”--Booklist, Starred Review A New York Times Bestseller An International Bestseller A New York Times Notable Book of 2011 A Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of 2011 A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2011 The iTunes 2011 Rewind Best Teen Novel The #1 Book on the Spring 2011 IndieNext List A School Library Journal Best Book of 2011 A Booklist Best Book of 2011 A Kirkus Best Book of 2011 2012 IRA Children’s and Young Adults Book Award for Young Adult Fiction 2012 Indies Choice Young Adult Book of the Year A Carnegie Medal Finalist A William C. Morris Finalist

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Bomb

Steve Sheinkin

In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world's most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb. Bomb is a 2012 National Book Awards finalist for Young People's Literature. Bomb is a 2012 Washington Post Best Kids Books of the Year title. Bomb is a 2013 Newbery Honor book.

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Mare’s War

Tanita S. Davis

Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence, and courage when they're forced to take a car trip with their grandmother, who tells about growing up Black in 1940s Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a member of the Women's Army Corps.

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The Berlin Boxing Club

Robert Sharenow

Sydney Taylor Award-winning novel Berlin Boxing Club is loosely inspired by the true story of boxer Max Schmeling's experiences following Kristallnacht. Karl Stern has never thought of himself as a Jew. But the bullies at his school in Nazi-era Berlin, don't care that Karl has never been in a synagogue or that his family doesn't practice religion. Demoralized by attacks on a heritage he doesn't accept as his own, Karl longs to prove his worth. So when Max Schmeling, champion boxer and German national hero, makes a deal with Karl's father to give Karl boxing lessons, A skilled cartoonist, Karl has never had an interest in boxing, but now it seems like the perfect chance to reinvent himself. But when Nazi violence against Jews escalates, Karl must take on a new role: protector of his family. And as Max's fame forces him to associate with Hitler and other Nazi elites, Karl begins to wonder where his hero's sympathies truly lie. Can Karl balance his dream of boxing greatness with his obligation to keep his family out of harm's way? Includes an author's note and sources page detailing the factual inspirations behind the novel. Supports the Common Core State Standards.

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Flygirl

Sherri L. Smith

Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight. Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn’t stop him from fulfilling his dreams. But her daddy’s gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her. When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots—and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific. But even the WASP won’t accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of “passing,” of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program. Hiding one’s racial heritage, denying one’s family, denying one’s self is a heavy burden. And while Ida Mae chases her dream, she must also decide who it is she really wants to be.

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Code Name Verity

Elizabeth E. Wein

Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called "a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel" in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

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Blackout

Connie Willis

Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place, with scores of time-traveling historians being sent into the past. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. Merope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty 1940 evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser into letting her go to VE-Day. Polly Churchill’s next assignment will be as a shopgirl in the middle of London’s Blitz. But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments and switching around everyone’s schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. For there they face air raids, blackouts, and dive-bombing Stukas—to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control. Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past.

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