The School That Escaped the Nazis: The True Story of the Schoolteacher Who Defied Hitler (free Sora download 5/12-17/23) by Deborah Cadbury | Read by Julie Teal Published by Hachette Audio
In the early 1930s, principal Anna Essinger was dismayed by the Nazis’ increasing power and decided to move her entire school and its students from Germany to England. Despite challenges and peril, “Tante Anna” saved many children who otherwise would have been imprisoned or worse.
Growing up poor in New York City, Stanley Lieber escaped by reading adventure stories and dreamed of writing his own.
He began working at age 16 as an errand boy for Timely Comics magazine and got to write a Captain America story. But he signed it as Stan Lee, saving his real name for the day he would be a “real” writer.
When veteran writers quit Timely, Stan moved up to full-time writer and editor – as a teenager!
For two decades, he wrote story after story of predictable, perfect heroes as the company grew and became Marvel Comics. So boring.
His wife suggested that he write the superhero story that he’d want to read. So Stan teamed up with artist Jack Kirby, and they created the flawed yet Fantastic Four – a huge hit with comics readers!
What next? Reflecting on his own childhood, Stan invented a lonely, geeky, science-loving hero – the Amazing Spider-Man, drawn by Steve Ditko – an even bigger hit with readers!
Finally, the Marvel Comics’ bosses decided that Stan should make a series of unconventional superheroes, and the Marvel Comics Universe was born.
Continuing with Stan’s move to Hollywood as his superheroes became movie stars, this lively picturebook includes great background information. You can find free activity sheets here, courtesy of the publisher.
Who’s your favorite Marvel superhero? **kmm
Book info: With Great Power: The Marvelous Stan Lee: An Unauthorized Biography / Annie Hunter Erickson; illustrated by Lee Gatlin. Page Street Kids, 2021. [author interview] [artist site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
A noteworthy collection of YA authors share their experiences of their books being challenged for ‘controversial issues’ – Matt de la Peña, Robie H. Harris, Susan Kuklin, David Levithan, Meg Medina, Lesléa Newman, Katherine Paterson, Dav Pilkey, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, Sonya Sones, R. L. Stine, and Angie Thomas.
I recommended the 2021 print book earlier on BooksYALove.com here
A mechanical gecko, a garden atop a traveling snail’s shell, an armored jet-propelled ancient fish…
Imaginary beings are at the heart of Shaun Tan’s most beloved books: The Arrival, Tales from Outer Suburbia, The Lost Thing (also made into an award-winning short film – trailer here).
Collected in this large and beautiful book are 25 years of the Australian artist’s paintings and drawings from those books, as well as many standalone works.
“The first thing I remember drawing was a creature… and not much has changed since.” (page 7)
Tan writes intriguing commentary about influences on his style and subject matter – old monster movies, Aboriginal stories, birds in his family’s neighborhood – and how his imagination reinterpreted them as he told stories through images.
Enjoy these large-scale pictures of mechanico-animal beings, humans living alongside unusual beasties, and transformational situations, then flip to the back and read Tan’s notes about how each creature was made.
Includes this set of creature Emoticons, 2016, pencil on paper, digitally composited, originally published in The Stick and Der Spiegel, as shown on Tan’s website.
What creature from your own imagination would you like to meet? **kmm
Book info: Creature: Paintings, Drawings, and Reflections / Shaun Tan. Levine Querido, 2022. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher; Emoticons illustration from https://www.shauntan.net/creature-book-1.
Close your eyes and imagine how Picasso would paint a donut. I bet you see strong colors and lots of angles in his famous Cubist abstract style.
How would other noted artists portray that donut?
This delicious book answers that curious question with donuts in the style of 16 well-known artists from Da Vinci to Van Gogh, Seurat to Matisse, Dali to Basquiat.
Each two-page spread features information on the artist’s life and works, what’s distinctive about their style, and a huge donut in that style.
Artist Chloe Tyler who so brilliantly created all these donuts also includes an extensive glossary, as well as tips & tricks for tasty technique to help you echo a famous artist’s style on your next project.
Which artist would you like to share a real donut with? **kmm
Book info: Cultured Donuts: Take a Bite Out of Art History / Chloe Tyler. Flowerpot Press, 2022. [author/artist interview] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Resisting South Africa’s colonial government, everyday working-class people stood up for basic rights, often risking their lives during the first half of the 20th century.
Six key court cases involving these “rebels and revolutionaries” set the stage for South Africa’s notorious apartheid policy:
“Until the Ship Sails” – For decades, Asian men brought to work in Transvaal faced tight restrictions of “the Black Act” – in 1908, Gandhi urged them to resist non-violently. How long would the hundreds arrested be detained aboard old ships?
“In the Shadow of a High Stone Wall” – Striking against unjust working conditions in 1911 put Irish emigrants in a wretched prison. Without bail money, they were denied access to their lawyers. Would their 1912 lawsuit for unfair treatment keep other poor South Africans from the same fate?
“Come Gallows Grim” – Companies and gold mines began hiring low-paid Black workers after World War I, leading to riots by displaced white workers who saw the government as allied with mine owners. Death and destruction during martial law in 1922, many captured, including Taffy Long. Two trials, calls for clemency, fears of more riots. When would the shadow of the hangman’s noose leave South Africa?
“The Widow of Marsbastad” – In a 1956 township without running water, they tell stories about 1925 when an old law was suddenly applied to Black women, requiring them to carry a Night Pass while delivering laundry to white customers or be arrested on the spot! Brave women volunteered go out at night to challenge this new restriction. Would the outcome of their cases affect Pass Laws proposed later under apartheid?
“A House Divided” – A land-use dispute in the 1920s pits two factions of the Bafokeng people against one another – the hereditary chief with inconsistent decisions and his councillors who see their tribe’s bankruptcy ahead. Both sides appeal to different departments of the colonial South African government. Will unwritten tribal laws prevail and send dissenters into exile from their homelands?
“Here I Cross to the Other Side” – Tuma leaves Besotho to work in the gold mines during World War II, toiling far underground, with an angry white bossman, too little food, not enough safety precautions. Enduring the same brutal conditions for 20 years led to his father’s early death during Tuma’s first contract time. Why are white mineworkers protected by a union, while Black workers are paid less and forbidden to talk about organizing? Strike!
This stunning graphic novel combines deep research with the visual works of South African artists Liz Clarke, Dada Khanyisa, Mark Modimola, Saaid Rahbeeni, The Trantraal Brothers, and Tumi Mamabola. Each chapter is followed by intriguing historical documents from legal archives and photos of key participants in each case.
Where do you resist injustice today? **kmm
Book info: All Rise: Resistance and Rebellion in South Africa 1910-1948 – a Graphic History / Richard Conyngham; illustrated by Liz Clarke, Dada Khanyisa, Mark Modimola, Saaid Rahbeeni, The Trantraal Brothers, Tumi Mamabola. Published by Catalyst Press, 2021. [author interview] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Why are you… you? How do you become a better person? What does it mean to be yourself?
These fundamental questions about being human are considered, argued, and partly answered in this collection of 30 essays by famous folks and new writers.
Trying and trying to replicate her mother’s dal recipe might help Geeta Kothari answer “If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I?”
Valerie Gribben explains that “Practicing Medicine Can Be Grimm Work” as fairy tales gave her insight into the injuries and pains of her patients.
Retired businessman Freddy Schumann became the loudest person in Yankee Stadium and revitalized their fans in the late 1980s as “The Octogenarian Cheerleader” interviewed by Scott Pitoniak.
A 1790 letter from George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island notes that their new national government “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance” and sends his appreciation for their welcome and support. (p.72)
KellyNoel Waldorf’s university experience was much different from her peers – “I Came to Duke With an Empty Wallet” and the effects of growing up poor still inform all her decisions.
Be sure to read Anna Quindlen’s advice “Get a Life” which concludes “All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.” (p. 85)
What advice would you share on “becoming you”? **kmm
Book info: A Path to the World: Becoming You / Lori Marie Carlson-Hijuelos, editor. Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/ Simon & Schuster, 2022. [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
Us versus them or together we can succeed? Time to give in or time to persevere? Time to hold onto hope with our whole heart!
Written in the wake of the 2016 elections, the personal essays by these well-known YA authors call us to continue finding reasons to hope – and work – for a better future together: Atia Abawi, Renee Ahdieh, Libba Bray, Howard Bryant, Ally Carter, Ally Condie, Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Gayle Forman, Romina Garber, I. W. Gregorio, Kate Hart, Brendan Kiely, David Levithan, Alex London, Marie Lu, Julie Murphy, Jason Reynolds, Aisha Saeed, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Nicola Yoon, Jeff Zentner.
“What I really think is that hope is in the work. That it lives in the space between what’s been done and what could be accomplished,” counsels Kate Hart (pg. 119) reminding Hope Nation that our work is fighting for what’s right.
Angie Thomas recounts an event from her book tour for The Hate U Give, where a Black woman asked those present “Can we begin to listen to one another, and can we change things?” (pg. 65) following racist incidents at their New Jersey high school – this is Hope Nation.
When bigots try to ban books in your school or town, stand against them and remember Jeff Zentner’s words: “Nothing forces people to confront the humanity of others like engaging with their stories” (pg. 92) – Hope Nation doesn’t see everyone else as ‘other’ like the bigots prefer.
Where do you find your hope? **kmm
Book info: Hope Nation: YA Authors Share Personal Moments of Inspiration / Rose Brock, editor. Penguin Teen, 2018 [editor site] [publisher site] Personal collection; cover image courtesy of the publisher.
“The American story” has millions of chapters, each unique. This week (2-8 June 2022), the AudioSYNC program brings us a baseball life you may have missed and a glimpse of America itself gripped by Red scares during the Cold War.
Be sure you’ve registered here so your Sora shelf is ready to download either or both of these professionally produced audiobooks – free! Listen anytime and anywhere over the next 99 years, as long you can access your Sora shelf online.
A Time of Fear: America in the Era of Red Scares and Cold War (free Sora download 6/2-6/8/22) by Albert Marrin | Read by Jason Culp Published by Listening Library
During the Cold War, some Americans thought Communist ideals could erase the nation’s deepening economic and social divides. Others saw Communism as an enormous threat to our democracy and would do anything to stop it – including blacklisting, lying, and trying to erase free speech.
This look at the McCarthy era’s strident bellowing against those who thought differently asks us to consider what’s worth fighting for and how far we each would go to protect our freedoms.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.