Thursday, March 19, 2009

Favorite Reads - Historical Fiction

In honor of the upcoming Author Visit of David Guterson and his book "Snow Falling on Cedars," I created a list of Historical Fiction favorites that involves World War II. Snow Falling on Cedars takes us to a small fishing community that is dealing with the aftermath of the war. A murder flares up the anti-Japanese sentiment after town members came home from being interned during the war.

The books that I chose for the Historical Fiction list are all about how families and people were affected by the war. There were several that especially stood out to me.

The Stars Can Wait by Jay Basu is about a 15 year old boy in Poland during the Nazi occupation. He is forced to work in the coal mines, but risks his life every night to go into the fields and stargaze. The war also affects his brother Pavel who takes a different path of rebellion.

When Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe tells about the horrible reality of what happens to innocent people when the Americans and Japanese fight over the Philippines. "Papa explains the war like this: 'When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful.” The story follows a group of families who must hide in a cellar while the war rages above them.

Finally from the Japanese perspective comes The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama. This beautifully written book explores war torn life in Japan as families try to put there life back together after the war. They must all come to grips with the fact that life is changing while trying to hold on to the old traditions.

I hope that you enjoy this list as much I did creating it.

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