Tag Archive | Netherlands

M = Mars One & missing & mayhem, by Jonathan Maberry (book review)

book cover of Mars One by Jonathan Maberry published by Simon Schuster BYFR  | recommended on BooksYALove.comSix years to prepare,
Two ships to Mars,
One pair of broken hearts…

Of course, falling in love was an inconsiderate choice on his part, but how could Tristan’s teen self keep away from charming, lovely, phenomenal Izzy – even when he knew that he’d leave the planet forever at age 16?

In this near-future Earth’s desperate gamble to find more room by settling on Mars, not everyone agrees. Despite years of planning and training and built-in safeguards, small disasters begin on the Mars One spaceships – how?

Should humankind keep reaching for the stars?
**kmm

Book info:  Mars One / Jonathan Maberry. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2017. [author site]  [publisher site]  Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: As part of Earth’s first colony crew to Mars, 16 year old Tristan is elated, fully trained, and ready to launch… except that part about leaving girlfriend Izzy forever and worrying about anti-Mars violence coming to their Wisconsin hometown.

Intense preparations for launch of Mars One’s first two ships have taken years, bypassed national borders, and been documented on all media. Even Izzy’s and Tristan’s “doomed romance” is a reality TV show (paying for her college, that’s why). And the Neo-Luddites have protested every step of the way, now bombing sites related to the mission.

One of four teens on Mars One, Tristan has faith in his mom’s rigorous engineering safety checks – why are systems having problems in space?
These families have been training together for so long – can they keep finding solutions?
Psychological testing over and over – no one aboard either ship wants the mission to fail, right?

The further the two ships travel from Earth, the longer the communications delay becomes – goodbye, Izzy. Goodbye, everything?

Girl in the Blue Coat, by Monica Hesse (book review) – find her before the Nazis do?

book cover of Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse, published by Little Brown Teen | recommended on BooksYALove.comLast of her family, gone from a locked room,
Nazis seeking her and so many others…
Closed eyes? Despair? Resistance!

Not the same thing at all, Hanneke’s very quiet black-market activity versus being asked to find a Jewish girl in Amsterdam before the German invaders do!

This World War II story invokes the tenacity of hope even as neighbors collaborate with the enemy and long-time friendships falter.

Last year, I walked the Amsterdam streets that Hanneke slipped through like a shadow and that Anne Frank longed to freely walk again…
**kmm

Book info:  Girl in the Blue Coat / Monica Hesse.  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2016.  [author site]  [publisher site]  [Q &A with author] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Struggling to support her parents during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam, Hanneke quietly acquires rationed goods for clients, but the teen is startled when she’s asked to find a missing Jewish girl amid constant deportations and disappearances.

How can she locate Mirjam without alerting the authorities?
What caused the young woman to leave the safe house, anyway?
Oh, why did Hanneke encourage her boyfriend Bas to join the Dutch Navy, just before it was crushed by the Nazi invasion?

Cautiously introduced to the student resistance by Bas’ brother Ollie, Hanneke now has even more reason to steer clear of the Germans in her beloved city and the local sympathizers who will betray neighbors to stay in the Nazis’ good graces. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

A beautiful Dutch bookstore beckons in former church

Photo of Domincaen Bookstore in Maastricht, NetherlandsLarge or small,
New or old,
A bookstore or library can take you anywhere.

Greetings from the Dominicaen Bookstore in Maastricht, Netherlands – named one of the world’s loveliest bookstores by Architectural Digest!

What’s your favorite bookshop?
**kmm

Brave women of WWII in free SYNC audiobooks

This week’s free audiobooks from SYNC feature women who risked everything to save others from Nazi brutality and the horrors of World War II.

Download these free full-length audiobooks before Wednesday June 18, and you can listen to them for as long as you have them on your computer or electronic device.

CD cover of Code Name Verity By Elizabeth Wein Read by Morven Christie & Lucy Gaskell Published by Bolinda AudioCode Name Verity  (download here)
By Elizabeth Wein
Read by Morven Christie & Lucy Gaskell
Published by Bolinda Audio

Captured by the Gestapo when their  plane crashes in occupied France, young British spy Queenie survives her friend Maddie, but for how long?

CD cover of The Hiding Place By Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill & Elizabeth Sherrill Read by Bernadette Dunne Published by Christian Audio
The Hiding Place (download here)
By Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill & Elizabeth Sherrill
Read by Bernadette Dunne
Published by Christian Audio

The memoir of Dutch Resistance heroine who helped many Jews escape from the Nazis and later became a noted evangelist.

Such tales of bravery against terrible odds! Which one will you download first?
**kmm

Annexed (fiction)

Anne Frank and the Annex – so many have read her story through her diary. Radio messages from the Dutch officials exiled in London during World War II reminded those who remained in the Netherlands that their diaries and memoirs would be testaments to the Nazis’ atrocities. Anne knew this as she wrote, always striving to be “a writer” and telling the tales of hope and deprivation and worry that circled and recircled in the Annex.

So hearing Peter’s voice brings more to the story, like looking at a familiar statue from another angle gives us a different perspective. Not everyone has been pleased with this alternate view of the Annex, but Dogar’s comments on the controversy reveal that she wrote Annexed because she and her daughter wondered what happened after the Diary ended, not to rewrite Anne’s history.

A gripping story well worth reading (with hankie in hand).
**kmm

Book info: Annexed / Sharon Dogar. Houghton Mifflin, 2010. [author interview] [publisher site] [book trailer]

Recommendation: Peter walks slowly, savoring the sun and wind before he enters the Annex. Who knows how long the Franks and his family will stay there, Jews escaping the Nazis in Holland by going into hiding?

Yes, those Franks. This is Peter’s side of the struggle for survival chronicled in The Diary of Anne Frank, as the young man gives up his first romance, his training, his future, just trying to stay alive day by day. Oh, the story was whispered in Amsterdam that both families had fled, far from the ominous army trucks which loaded up in Jewish neighborhoods and returned to the city – empty.

Peter longs for his woodworking tools, not the books that Anne and Margot seem to live in. How appropriate that a bookcase covers the hidden door into the Annex! How difficult it must have been for others to bring food to those in the Annex when there was little to find.

As time passes, books become more appealing to Peter… as does Anne, who is no longer the child who entered the Annex. Anne – who writes to tell the truth, who writes as a testimony against the cruelty of the Nazis.

We know that this saga does not end well. Peter’s tale continues on the horrific train journey out of the city, to the brutalities of the prison camp called Auschwitz. Annexed is a powerful story for mature readers, no less real because it uses the voice of fiction. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy courtesy of the publisher.