50 Children: One Ordinary American Couple’s Extraordinary Rescue Mission Into the Heart of Nazi Germany by Steven Pressman

50children

This is a true story about a very small group of people who decided to rescue 50 Jewish children from Nazi Germany in 1939-legally. The idea came from someone who was the head of a Jewish fraternal society in Philadelphia. He proposed that this society could rescue 50 children from Nazi occupied Germany and escort them to the USA where they could be fostered (both physically and financially) by other Jewish families until the rest of the children’s family could immigrate to the USA.  This size of group, coming from Germany, all children, had never been done before. The enormity of this quest was not fully realized as political (both German and American), religious, and emotional barriers all had to be overcome. Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus were the people to head up the American Calvary to rescue 50 children, and in doing so, potentially rescue 50 German families as well.  Constant worries about visas, health concerns, language differences, as well as taking these children from living parents and other siblings, weighed heavily on the Kraus couple’s mind. This book reads like a suspense novel where time is ticking away and you never know when things are going to change.  Take a read and find out if there was a happy ending! (Submitted by Jamie)

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My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo

my-beautiful-birds

This gorgeous picture book tells the story of Sami, who has had to leave his home in Syria and flee to a Refugee camp. The pictures are done in plasticine, and are so beautiful and moving. Sami had to leave behind his birds as his family ran, and he misses them so much. The story shows an gentle path towards healing both in the pictures and in the words. An eye opener for children who might never have heard of Refugee camps and what it means to be a refuge and leave your home. (Submitted by Sharleen)

 

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Tamar by Mal Peet

Image result for tamar book coverTamar by Mal Peet is a YA novel set in the Netherlands during WWII, and tells the story of two young Dutch men, Tamar and Dart,  who are members of the British Secret Service, sent to the Netherlands to assist the Dutch Resistance.  The narrative alternates between a female narrator in current day Britain, the granddaughter of one of the young soldiers seeking information about her now-deceased grandfather, and a male voice telling the war story in the 1940s.  Both voices are spectacular, and their two stories are gripping in their own way.  I especially enjoyed the tale of the resistance fighters, the reality of the conditions they find themselves in, and the tragic love triangle in which they become embroiled.  This audiobook was excellent, and I’m sure it is also an excellent read. (Submitted by Ginny).

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God in Pink by Hasan Namir

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War torn Iraq in 2003 is a brutal time and place to be queer and Muslim. Ramy is facing a forced marriage to please his family and seeks guidance from Ammar. Ammar is a sheikh who thought he knew exactly what he should be doing and what the Qur’an dictates on the subject of homosexuality when Ramy’s letter and some angels complicate his life. Unflinching violence and no easy answers greet readers willing to engage with this text from Iraqi-Canadian author Hasan Namir. A Lambda Literary Award finalist. (Submitted by Meghan W).
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All the Light We Cannot See — Anthony Doerr

At the outbreak of World War 2, the blind Marie-Laure and her father escape the city to the coastal town of Saint-Malo to seek safety with her Uncle.  Her story is contrasted by Werner the German orphan who is recruited into the German army because of his abilities with radios.  The stories of Marie-Laure and Werner bounce back and forth between the chapters until they finally converge.  What I liked most about this story was the detail into Marie-Laure’s life.  The way her father designed a scale model of their neighborhood so she could memorize routes and landmarks to help her get around on her own. (Submitted by Braden)

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