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Christian College Geelong Senior Library: Lovers of literature

Max by Sarah Cohen- Scali

If you enjoyed reading The Book Thief and The Boy in the Stripped Pyjamas then this new historical book will sure to please!

 

Meet Max—it’s 1936, Bavaria, and he’s still a foetus inside his blonde, blue-eyed mother. Utterly indoctrinated in the Nazi ideology, he will address you, tell you his story until 1945—his destiny as an exceptional being, the prototype of the ‘Lebensborn’ (Fountains of Youth) program, designed to produce perfect specimens of the Aryan race to regenerate the Reich. When Max meets Lukas, a young Polish boy who resembles him but who rebels against the Nazi system, cracks starts to appear in Max’s convictions…

Max is compulsive reading. Against all your instincts to despise what Max tells you, about his childish cruelty, his attempts to eliminate any aspect of weakness in order to become a tough Hitler youth, you will find yourself somehow understanding him, becoming attached to this orphan who personifies the evil that people are capable of inflicting on children in times of war.

Max is a fascinating, confronting historical fable. A little-known aspect of the World War II is brought to life through two striking characters whose paths cross tragically. In the words of Sarah Cohen-Scali to her readers: ‘I hope that, as I did, you will be able to feel indulgent towards Max’s flaws, and that you will love him, defend him, and adopt this orphan of evil…’

Review Text Publishing, Retrieved 18th March 2016, https://www.textpublishing.com.au/books/max

March 18, 2016 Posted by | Historical Fiction, War | , | Leave a comment

One Thousand Hills by James Roy and Noel Zihabamwe

The world Pascal knows is about to change forever!

Pascal and his family live in Rwanda, where his father works in Ruthengeri, the nearest town to their small village, Agabande. His  eldest brother is studying in Belgium, and it is in a secondary school in Belgium that the novel begins. It is 1999, and Pascal is being interviewed by a counsellor, to whom he relates his experiences. He recalls his calm and normal life until April, 1994. Pascal plays with his friends, annoys his little sister, Nadine, and is teased by his older brother. There is something going on the radio about cockroaches, but Pascal does not realize what is happening. All he understands is that his teacher is in tears more often, Half way through the novel , catastrophe strikes  Pascal and Nadine.

The attacks in Rwanda on the Tutsi people by the Hutus were reported across the world, but the horror was largely ignored. There was no intervention by foreign forces, despite eight hundred thousand deaths. The novel shows us how terrible it was for the survivors.

Initially the action is less than arresting, although the picture of Rwandan life may appeal to the more contemplative reader. When the crisis arrives, so does compassion, although the source of the hatred between Tutsis and Hutus is never explained or its history revealed.

The joint author of One Thousand Hills was a witness to the genocide, and his story needs to be told. What could have been done?How could this terrible happening have been avoided? There are no answers given here, but plenty of room for discussion.

Reviewed by Stella Lees,  Reading Time, Retrieved February 26th, 2016, http://readingtime.com.au/one-thousand-hills/

February 25, 2016 Posted by | Survival, War | , | Leave a comment

To Love a Sunburnt Country by Jackie French

All you who have not loved her,

You will not understand……

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The year is 1942 and the world is at war. Nancy Clancy is 16 and left school to spend a year droving, just like her grandfather Clancy of the Overflow was famed for. Now Nancy’s family has sent her to Malaya to bring home her sister0in-law Moira and baby Gavin. Moira is British and married to Nancy’s brother Ben, who is now a soldier. Malaya is under threat from the Japanese, but despite the warnings Moira has resisted leaving as she wants to stay near her husband.

When Malaya is invaded, Nancy, Moira and Gavin are fortunate to get out before Singapore falls. When their ship is bombed they end up stranded on an island where they, and some other colonial women, are captured. There begins the nightmare and horror of internment in a Japanese camp. Back home at Gibber’s Creek families are doing their bit for the war. They worry constantly about their men who are fighting – and now those who are missing after Singapore falls.

Powerful, compelling and confronting, this is a book that pulls no punches. Filled with emotional truth and heartfelt agony, this unforgettable fourth book in the The Matilda Saga continues the journey that started with A Waltz for Matilda.

Review: Good Reads, Retrieved 1st June 2015, http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23449436-to-love-a-sunburnt-country

June 1, 2015 Posted by | Family/Relationships, Uncategorized, War | | Leave a comment

And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle and Bruce Whatley

But the band played ‘Waltzing Matilda’ when we stopped to bury our slain. We buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs; then we started all over again.

Eric Bogle’s famous and familiar Australian song about the Battle of Gallipoli explores the futility of war with haunting power. Now Bruce Whatley’s evocative illustrations bring a heart-rending sense of reality to the tale.

This year Australia is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli so this wonderful book it is timely story for every generation to share.

February 16, 2015 Posted by | Picture Books, War | , , , , | Leave a comment

Parvana’s Promise by Deborah Ellis

The stunning sequel to Parvana and Parvana’s Journey is now here!

Parvana, now fifteen, is found in a bombed-out school and held as a suspected terrorist by American troops in Afghanistan.


resized_9781743312988_224_297_FitSquareOn a military base in post- Taliban Afghanistan, American authorities have imprisoned a teenage girl. The girl doesn’t respond to questions in any language and remains silent, even when she is threatened, harassed and mistreated over several days

She could tell the woman was watching her through the small window in the door. The girl kept her back against the door and didn’t move.
‘We can keep you locked up here for a very long time,’ the woman finally said, speaking softly. ‘Talk to me. Is your name Parvana?’
The girl remained with her back against the door. Silent. She heard the woman’s boots walk away down the hall. She stood and waited, listening hard to see if the boots would come back.
When she was sure she was alone, the girl in the dusty blue chador finally spoke. ‘Yes,’ she whispered. ‘My name is Parvana.’

February 11, 2013 Posted by | War | , | Leave a comment

Books into Film

May 28, 2012 Posted by | Film tie in, Romance, Uncategorized, War | | Leave a comment

And in the morning by John Wilson

Jim Hay is fifteen, thinks war is a  glorious adventure and cannot wait for this turn to fight. But as his father boldly marches off to battle in August 1914, Jim must be content to record his thoughts and dreams in his journal.

Gradually, however, Jim’s simple life begins to unravel. His father is killed in action, his mother suffers a breakdown and when he does at last join up, it is as much to find a refuge as it is to seek glory.

What Jim discovers in the trenches of France is enough to dispel any romantic view of the war. And while his longing for adventure is replaced by a basic need to survive, the final tragic outcome is one he never dreamed of.

John Wilson’s book And in the Morning is definitely for older readers. The hero is an older teenager who gets involved in
World War I. The violence is sometimes personal, and the things young Jim Hay sees are sometimes horrifying.

June 23, 2011 Posted by | Adventure, War | | Leave a comment

Book of the Year -2011 Shortlist Titles

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowly

“Let me make it in time. Let me meet Shadow. The guy who paints in the dark. Paints birds trapped on brick walls and people lost in ghost forests. Paints guys with grass growing from their hearts and girls with buzzing lawn mowers.”

It’s the end of Year 12. Lucy’s looking for Shadow, the graffiti artist everyone talks about.
His work is all over the city, but he is nowhere.
Ed, the last guy she wants to see at the moment, says he knows where to find him. He takes Lucy on an all-night search to places where Shadow’s thoughts about heartbreak and escape echo around the city walls.
But the one thing Lucy can’t see is the one thing that’s right before her eyes.

The Midnight Zoo by Sonya  Hartnett

World War II, Eastern Europe: Tomas and his younger brother, Andrej, have fled their Romany encampment which has been besieged by the Germans; they carry Wilma, their baby sister, in a sack. In an abandoned, bombed-out town, the children discover a zoo. In it are a wolf and an eagle, a monkey, bear, lioness, seal, chamois and llama. The animals tell their stories to the children as they try to begin to understand what has become of their lives and, when they try to figure out a way to release the animals, what it means to be free.

About a Girl by Joanne Horniman

 A spellbinding love story between two young women that unfolds like a series of paintings and explores the tender moments that pull them together and the secrets that push them apart.

Anna is afraid she must be unlovable – until she meets Flynn. Together, the girls swim, eat banana cake, laugh and love. Some days Flynn is unreachable; other days she’s at Anna’s door – but when Anna discovers Flynn’s secret, she wonders if she knows her at all.
A beautifully crafted novel by award-winning author Joanne Horniman that explores the tension between the tender moments that pull people together and the secrets that push them apart.

The Life of a Teenage Body-snatcher by Doug MacLeod

This is the story of a young man growing up in England in 1828. Thomas Timewell lives a rather sedate life with his mother, but all that changes when he meets a man who steals corpses from cemeteries and sells them to hospitals for dissection. At first reluctantly and later willingly Thomas follows Plenitude, as the man calls himself, through a series of macabre and dangerous escapades that include murderous bodysnatchers, a vengeful teacher, and a mad woman of the moors. Along the way Thomas falls in love with the lovely Victoria (who who hides a secret of her own) and makes a startling discovery about his own lineage.

The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta

 

Melina Marchetta’s brilliant, heart-wrenching new novel takes up the story of the group of friends from her best-selling, much-loved book Saving Francesca – only this time it’s five years later and Thomas Mackee is the one who needs saving.

Thomas Mackee wants oblivion. Wants to forget parents who leave and friends he used to care about and a string of one-night stands, and favourite uncles being blown to smithereens on their way to work on the other side of the world.

But when his flatmates turn him out of the house, Tom moves in with his single, pregnant aunt, Georgie. And starts working at the Union pub with his former friends. And winds up living with his grieving father again. And remembers how he abandoned Tara Finke two years ago, after his uncle’s death.

And in a year when everything’s broken, Tom realises that his family and friends need him to help put the pieces back together as much as he needs them

Six Impossible things by Fiona Wood

Fourteen year old nerd-boy Dan Cereill is not quite coping with a reversal of family fortune, moving house, new school hell, a mother with a failing wedding cake business, a just-out gay dad, and an impossible crush on Estelle, the girl next door. His life is a mess, but for now he’s narrowed it down to just six impossible things…

May 6, 2011 Posted by | Family/Relationships, Fantasy, Past, people and places, Romance, Shortlisted Books, War | | Leave a comment

Resurrection by Mandy Hagar

 This is third and final gripping  book in the Blood of the Lamb series by New Zealand author Mandy Hager. The other books in the series are The Crossing and the second  in the series Into the Wilderness.

Maryam might fight for her life, freedom and love in this stunning finale to the Blood of the Lamb series. Maryam and Lazarus arrive back at Onewere and Maryam, in trying to loosen the Apostles’ religious stranglehold by showing the people the miraculous remedy, is captured. The ruling elite decide to manipulate her return and Lazarus’s so-called ‘resurrection from the dead’ by setting in motion a highly orchestrated pretence of embracing her as the new Messiah – right down to planning her eventual sacrifice and death by crucifixion before a hysterical and brain-washed crowd. In a sequence that mirrors Christ’s final hours, Maryam must somehow get the islanders to listen to her plea to start thinking for themselves – eventually managing to stir the independence in their hearts just as she is about to be put to death.

April 4, 2011 Posted by | Great series, War | | Leave a comment

Leviathan and Behemoth by Scott Westerfield

Full of nonstop action, this steampunk adventure is sure to become a classic.”
School Library Journal

Leviathan: first book in triology
Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She’s a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn’s paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.

Behemoth: second book in The Leviathan triology
The behemoth is the fiercest creature in the British navy. It can swallow enemy battleships with one bite. The Darwinists will need it, now that they are at war with the Clanker powers.

Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan’s peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.

Alek and Deryn will need great skill, new allies, and brave hearts to face what’s ahead.

Goliath the third and final book in The Leviathan triology will be published in September this year.

To find out more about Scott Westerfield and his books go to his website: http://scottwesterfeld.com/blog/books/leviathan/

March 24, 2011 Posted by | Adventure, Great series, Steampunk, War | Leave a comment