Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Candy Bomber

 Tunnell, M. O. (2010). Candy bomber: The story of the berlin airlift’s "chocolate pilot". Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.  2011 Young Adults’ Choices book award (International Reading Association). 
Michael Tunnell has written Candy Bomber in such a way that you understand not only the history behind what happened after World War II to the country of Germany, but more importantly how the war impacted the lives of the German people, young and old. His style is easy to read and gives historic information without being graphic or boring as some historic war texts can be. He includes actual photos taken by the “candy bomber”, Gail Halvorsen, besides a biographical note, a historical note, a source list, an index, and a note from the author. This book would appeal to tween and teen readers who are interested in World War I and II texts, or those who are interested in people having done philanthropic type work. Gail Halvorsen is an inspirational person whom I enjoyed reading about, having never heard of the candy drop before. The two lines that caught my attention are “From little things come big things”—something Gail’s dad had told him early in life, and “Without hope the soul dies” (pg. 67)—the entire book and Gail’s life seems to embody these two statements. An inspirational read as you see that what Gail did impacted far more than just the children receiving the candy he first dropped.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday Wars

Schmidt. G. Wednesday wars. (2009). New York: Houghton Mifflin.

Meet Holling Hoodhood, a seventh-grader at Camillo Junior High, who must spend Wednesday afternoons with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, while the rest of the class has religious instruction. Mrs. Baker doesn’t like Holling—he’s sure of it. Why else would she make him read the plays of William Shakespeare outside class? But everyone has bigger things to worry about, like Vietnam. His father wants Holling and his sister to be on their best behavior: the success of his business depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has so much to contend with? A bully demanding cream puffs; angry rats; and a baseball hero signing autographs the very same night Holling has to appear in a play in yellow tights! As fate sneaks up on him again and again, Holling finds Motivation—the Big M—in the most unexpected places and musters up the courage to embrace his destiny, in spite of himself.