Books, Learning, Lists, Reviews

Nonfiction Week 3: On the Way to Becoming the Expert

Considering that I currently have all these books in various stages of reading, I am on the way to becoming the expert here. While I know I am going to feel torn and worn-out by the time I read these WWII books (set in various places across the world), I also know that I am going to be armed with more information, more everything to help spread the message so we can do our best to ensure such events do not occur again.

And yes, we are already in week four, but I am again playing catchup. Too much to read, and also to write … and I wonder how those who read and write everyday manage to do so…

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Nonfiction November

Anyways the nonfiction November topic for Week 3: (November 16-20) is below:

Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert  @ What’s Nonfiction : Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).

I am in between being and becoming the expert, as I am in various stages of reading for the books featured today. The topic WWII.

Be(coming) the Expert: The Books

We Had to Be Brave

we had to be brave

Title: We Had to Be Brave: Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport
Author: Deborah Hopkinson 
Publishers: Scholastic Focus
Pub Date: February 4th 2020
Genre: Teen and YA Nonfiction/Holocaust, History
Age-Range: 12 years and up
Source: Library

 Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

My Reading-in-Progress Thoughts

I started reading this book but had to return it to the library a little more than half-way through; now I am waiting for it again (on hold). But what I read so far is powerful. I talked about it in my week 2 post for nonfiction November here.

Flowers in the Gutter

Title: Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of the Edelweiss Pirates, Teenagers Who Resisted the Nazis
Author: K.R. Gaddy 
Publishers: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: January 7th 2020
Genre: Teen and YA Nonfiction/History
Age-Range: 12 years and up
Source: Library

Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

My Reading-in-Progress Thoughts

While I had at least heard about the topics which the other books in today’s post are centered around, I had no idea — absolutely none — about the Edelweiss Pirates. This is one of my currently reading books (along with literally a dozen others), and is, like the others have been, full of information, helping me open my eyes wider than before, and giving me another perspective, another look at history that we all need to know. (Full review to come later)

Surviving the Angel of Death

Title: Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz
Author: Eva Mozes Kor, Lisa Rojany Buccieri
Publishers: Tanglewood 
Pub Date: October 13th 2020 (this edition)
Genre: Teen and YA Nonfiction/Holocaust, History, Biography/Memoir
Age-Range: 12 years and up
Source: Library

 Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

My Thoughts

Courage, determination, sheer willpower, family, and forgiveness – that is what Eva Mozes Kor was made of. This book was heartbreaking on the one side yet inspiring and motivating.

Written in a first-person narrative, Surviving the Angel of Death is the incredible true story of Eva’s time at Auschwitz. While being a twin spared her and her sister’s lives, it also subjected them (and many others together known as the Mengele Twins) to the horrific experiments of Dr. Josef Mengele. But Eva’s tough spirit helped both sisters survive those horrors; and Eva later made it her goal to educate others, and even went on to forgive those who caused her pain.

This powerful story is tough to read, but is a definitely-must-read, and the least we can do is read about these to inform and educate ourselves, and to do our part to ensure history does not repeat itself. The backmatter (including Eva’s epilogue, the afterword, photographs, and more) are not to be missed.

Kiyo Sato

Title: Kiyo Sato: From a WWII Japanese Internment Camp to a Life of Service Goldsmith
Author: Connie Goldsmith with Kiyo Sato
Publishers: Twenty-First Century Books
Pub Date: September 1st 2020
Genre: Teen and YA Nonfiction/WWII, History, Biography/Memoir
Age-Range: 11 years and up
Source: Library

 Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

My Thoughts

I just finished reading this book and while I had read a little about Japanese internment camps (just a couple of years ago, tbh), I did not know much about them. This book is not just a

Kiyo Sato’s story, told in a first person narrative by Connie Goldsmith, is inspiring and humbling, to say the least. And it is awesomely amazing to note that Ms. Sato is still actively working on her goals of informing others about what happened so history does not repeat itself at the age of 97 today.

This book provides detailed historical information about the internment along with maps and photographs to provide a better idea to the reader about the same; and we also follow along with Kiyo Sato on her personal experiences leading up to, during, and after the internment.

It was truly amazing to note how she worked in the US military as a nurse for many years, and also how she and her family have worked throughout for the betterment of their communities. Her lifelong commitment to educate and inform others about internment continues to this day.

As I mentioned earlier, this book is an inspiring one that shows readers how courage, hope, resilience, and quiet determination can go a long way. Another must-read.

Games of Deception

Title: Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany Maraniss
Author: Andrew Maraniss 
Publishers: Philomel Books
Pub Date: November 5th 2019
Genre: Teen and YA Nonfiction/Sports History
Age-Range: 12 years and up
Source: Library

Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

This book has been checked out from the library and on my digital shelf waiting to be read. Who am I kidding? I got started on this one too as soon as I checked it out. As the title says, this book looks at the Olympics – specifically the U.S. Olympic Basketball team at the 1936 Olympics – through the lens of Nazi Germany; or the world itself at the time through the lens of the Olympics, however we choose to see it (complete review will come once I am done with the book)

On the Horizon

on the horizon by lois lowry

TitleOn the Horizon : World War II Reflections
Author: Lois Lowry
Illustrator: Kenard Pak
Publishers: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: April 7, 2020
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction/History
Age-Range: 10 – 12 years, and up

 Book Depository ||  IndieBound || Bookshop

My review of this beautiful book, based around the incidents of Pearl Harbor as well as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, is here.

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Nonfiction Week 3: On the Way to Becoming the Expert
- Books About WWII

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read any of these books? If yes, your thoughts on the book. Which of these books intrigues you the most? Any other recommendations for me along this theme? Do let me know. As always, look forward to reading your comments

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