Nearing Summer Vacation
May 22, 2016
Candace Hardy (22 articles)

Nearing Summer Vacation

It’s nearing summer vacation, and kids everywhere will be looking for things to do. When I was little the library was one of the few places for air conditioning, and with two working parents, vacation was a cottage for the last two weeks in August. I loved that time but there were lots of times during the summer when friends were away at camp and vacation, or it was rainy or stormy. My go to activity just about always was reading.

A recent trip to Savers, which, by the way is a great way to get books that are popular or vintage (I look for both) and the prices are unbelievably low. My last trip brought me two that I have gobbled up immediately.

For the historical fiction strong and mature mid-grade is a unique, MY SIDE OF THE STORY, two books in one. In this strong piece by James Riordan, two young people from opposite sides of WWII encounter one another. Frank and his sister, Violet are living in London, frightened and sleep-deprived by bombs that necessitate a trip almost nightly to the bomb shelter. For a while, ¬†they entertain themselves investigating bombed out homes. Then their street is blasted and their mother tearfully decides it’s time to send them off to the much safer English countryside.

Meanwhile, life has changed drastically for Jewish Hannah on the night of Kristallnacht. Huddled in the corner of a darkened bedroom with her Mama, Papa and brother Hans, she listens as boots tramp up the stairs and there is loud pounding on the door. The Nazi’s have come for them.

While both have lost family members due to the war, Frank’s and Hannah’s stories are vastly different. Hannah has seen family members humiliated publicly, been removed from her school and lost friends just for being Jewish.

She and Hans, her brother and protector, are put on a train to England, part of the Kindertransport but her brother is one day over the age limit of 16 and removed from the train, leaving Hannah to fend for herself.

Intriguing and thought provoking, this wonderful read gets 5 catnips.

Candace Hardy