Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Remembrance Day! - a mindwrap

This is a special day when you can read to your child the significant sacrifices that brave men and women made to keep our countries safe and to allow us to be free today.  I will give you some books  that you might consider to share and discuss on this topic to make this occasion meaningful to you child.  

Kingdergarten to Grade 3:  

A Poppy Is To Remember by Heather Patterson is a classic, and for good reason. This beautifully-illustrated picture book contains the full text of the poem “In Flanders Fields”, and helps children understand the important symbolism of the poppy, explaining in simple terms the history of the poppy on the battlefields of Europe. This is a great book to share with little ones who might be receiving their first poppy this year at school, to help them understand why we wear the poppy and to encourage them to treat it respectfully.

A Brave Soldier by Nicolas Debon tells the story of two young soldiers on the eve of World War I, setting off for battle filled with a sense of the glamour of war and hoping to distinguish themselves as brave soldiers on the battlefield. This story deals with the atrocities and ugliness of war in a way that is sensitive but truthful, and age-appropriate. While the issues of wartime horror and death might be difficult for some children, it’s a good way to start an important discussion.

Grades 4-6:

From Anna by Jean Little. Beloved children’s author Jean Little tells the moving story of the Soldens, a German family forced to leave their homeland as a result of the growing Nazi threat.
Anna has always been the odd one out in her own family, struggling with schoolwork and clumsy. Once Anna arrives in Canada, however, she finds her niche, facing challenges with newly-discovered confidence. Her determination to make the family’s first Christmas outside Germany special is heartwarming and touching.

Hana’s Suitcase: A True Story by Karen Levine. In Japan in the year 2000, a strange item appeared at the Tokyo Holocaust Centre: a suitcase, with only a name, a date and a single word – Waisenkind, German for orphan – painted on the side. This book tells the story of the search for the suitcase’s owner, 13-year old Hana Brady, a victim of Auschwitz during the Second World War. The story deals head-on with the terrible events of the Holocaust, and is all the more touching and memorable because it is true.

Grades 7 and 8 :

Men of Stone by Gayle Friesen. 15-year old Ben is the victim of vicious bullying for his interest in ballet. After a horrific beating by a group of bullies lands Ben in the hospital, he makes a surprising ally of his great-aunt Frieda, who tells her young nephew stories of her life in Stalin-era Russia and the terrifying “men of stone” who destroyed her family. Themes of forgiveness and peace make this book a great choice for Remembrance Day.

Turned Away: The World War II Diary of Devorah Bernstein. This historical fiction novel, part of the Dear Canada series, is written as a diary, penned by 11-year old Canadian Devorah Bernstein. Devorah has been writing to her cousin, Sarah, living in Nazi-occupied France, and the book follows the child’s desperate struggle to have the Canadian government allow her cousin to emigrate. The book, an engaging read for teen girls in particular, sheds a bright light on the difficulties Jews faced in leaving Nazi-controlled Europe, and Canada’s refusal to allow Jews to enter during World War II.

Read on and read always!

It's a wrap.

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