Review: 37 Days at Sea: Aboard the M.S. St. Louis, 1939

37 Days at Sea by Barbara Krasner

37 Days at Sea: Aboard the M.S. St. Louis, 1939
Barbara Krasner
Kar-Ben Publishing
Published May 1, 2021

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About 37 Days at Sea: Aboard the M.S. St. Louis, 1939

In May 1939, nearly one thousand German-Jewish passengers boarded the M.S. St. Louis luxury liner bound for Cuba. They hoped to escape the dangers of Nazi Germany and find safety in Cuba. In this novel in verse, twelve-year-old Ruthie Arons is one of the refugees, traveling with her parents.

Ruthie misses her grandmother, who had to stay behind in Breslau, and worries when her father … Continue reading

Review: The Lost Year by Katherine Marsh

The Lost Year by Katherine Marsh

The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukranian Famine
Katherine Marsh
MacMillan
Published January 17, 2023

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About The Lost Year

From the author of Nowhere Boy – called “a resistance novel for our times” by The New York Times – comes a brilliant middle-grade survival story that traces a harrowing family secret back to the Holodomor, a terrible famine that devastated Soviet Ukraine in the 1930s.

Thirteen-year-old Matthew is miserable. His journalist dad is stuck overseas indefinitely, and his mom has moved in his one-hundred-year-old great-grandmother to ride out the pandemic, adding to his stress and isolation.

But when Matthew finds a tattered black-and-white photo in his great-grandmother’s belongings, he … Continue reading

Review: The Librarian of Auschwitz: The Graphic Novel by Antonio Iturbe, Salva Rubio, and Loreto Aroca

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

The Librarian of Auschwitz: The Graphic Novel
Antonio Iturbe
Illustrated by Loreto Aroca
Translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites
Adapted by Salva Rubio
Godwin Books/MacMillan
Published January 3, 2023

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About The Librarian of Auschwitz: The Graphic Novel

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this graphic novel tells the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life … Continue reading

Review: Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts by Dianne K. Salerni

Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts by Dianne K. Salerni

Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts
Dianne K. Salerni
Holiday House
Published September 1, 2020

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About Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts

Murderous ghosts and buried family secrets threaten young Eleanor and Alice Roosevelt in this thrilling middle-grade novel that puts a supernatural spin on alternate history.

It’s 1898 in New York City and ghosts exist among humans.

When an unusual spirit takes up residence at the Roosevelt house, thirteen-year-old Eleanor and fourteen-year-old Alice are suspicious. The cousins don’t get along, but they know something is not right. This ghost is more than a pesky nuisance. The authorities claim he’s safe to be around, … Continue reading

Review: The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson

The Star that Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson

The Star That Always Stays
Anna Rose Johnson
Holiday House
Published July 12, 2022

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About The Star That Always Stays

When bright and spirited Norvia moves from the country to the city, she has to live by one new rule: Never let anyone know you’re Ojibwe.

Growing up on Beaver Island, Grand-père told Norvia stories–stories about her ancestor Migizi, about Biboonke-o-nini the Wintermaker, about the Crane Clan and the Reindeer Clan. He sang her songs in the old language, and her grandmothers taught her to make story quilts and maple candy. On the island, Norvia was proud of her Ojibwe heritage.

Things are different in the city. Here, Norvia’s … Continue reading

Review: Drawing Outside the Lines by Susan J. Austin

Drawing Outside the Lines by Susan J. Austin

Drawing Outside the Lines: a Julia Morgan Novel
Susan J. Austin
Sparkpress
Published October 18, 2022

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About Drawing Outside the Lines

Meet the brilliant, fearless, and ambitious Julia Morgan. In 1883, eleven-year-old Julia visits the amazing new Brooklyn Bridge—an experience that ignites within her a small but persistent flame. Someday, she decides, she too will build an astounding structure. 

 
Growing up in horse-and-buggy Oakland, Julia enjoys daring fence walks, climbing the tallest trees, and constantly testing her mother’s patience with her lack of interest in domestic duties and social events. At a time when “brainy” girls are the object of ridicule, Julia excels in school and consistently outsmarts her … Continue reading