1944. Elizabeth’s mother works at Dresden Zoo, where her favorite animal is an elephant named Marlene. When the zoo director tells her the dangerous animals must be shot to prevent them running amok when the town is bombed, Elizabeth’s mother moves Marlene into the back garden to save her. And then the bombs start to fall…
“This remarkable story, based on actual events, tells of young girl named Lizzie living with her family in Dresden, Germany during World War II. While her father serves his country, Lizzie’s mother takes a job at the nearby zoo where a bond is formed with an orphaned elephant named Marlene. As the threat of bombing looms, the zoo must face the task of disposing of the animals. Unable to think of Marlene being put down, the family houses her in their garden until the bombs finally fall. Along with the other surviving residents of the city, the family makes their way through the country side in search of safety. Lizzie soon learns, however, that having an elephant as a travel companion in the midst of war can make the trek far more complicated. Morpugo has crafted a unique coming-of-age story with an unusual friendship at the heart of it that proves that some bonds are unbreakable.”
By : Jeff Huttinger, The Learning Curve Central Library
An inspirational journey of light and hope to a place where earthly hurts are left behind. Author: Warren Hanson
“This beautifully illustrated, poetic book tackles death with such sensitivity; it is a wonderful book for an adult as well as a child. It’s very comforting after the death of a loved one, person or pet. This 1997 book is timeless in its relevance, in the same manner that The Fall of Freddie the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia is ageless.”
Recommended by: Diane Palguta, College Avenue Library
Believe it or not, a bear served in the British Army during WWll. In 1942 five Polish soldiers adopted a bear cub from a boy in the mountains of Iran. They named him Voytek, which means “Smiling Warrior” in Polish. Voytek loved army life and the soldiers loved Voytek. He slept in the tent with them. He drank beer and smoked cigarettes. He took showers. He even caught a spy!
In order to travel with his company to Italy, he was officially enlisted as Private Voytek. During the battle of Monte Cassino he joined the soldiers passing ammunition to the front and never dropped a shell. The officers were so impressed they made a picture of Voytek with a bomb in his paws as the emblem of the Transport Company of the 2nd Polish Corps.
Read about Private Voytek’s amazing adventures in this book based on the true story of Voytek, the bear that went to war. Soldier Bear won the 2012 Batchelder Award for most outstanding book translated to English.
Deza Malone is on a journey. The verbose 12-year old, whom readers first met in Bud, Not Buddy, has lived her entire life in Gary, Indiana, with her mother, father, and 15-year old brother, Jimmie.
A passionate reader, she wants to be just like her teacher, Miss Needham, when she grows up. But it is 1936 and the Great Depression has forced her father to look for work in Flint, Michigan. When a month goes by without a letter from him, her mother decides the family should follow him to Flint.
Their trip north takes them through a hobo camp, where Jimmie disappears, bringing even more changes for Deza. Her mother finds a job in Flint, and Deza faces life in a new city with a new school, new teachers, and new neighbors, all while remaining hopeful that her family will be reunited.
I love Deza’s spunky personality and how she remains true to herself as she dreams of finding that place called Wonderful. Author: Christopher Paul Curtis
This story is about a little boy who is from China and will be joining his father and two oldest brothers in America. In order to be “landed”, leaving for the desired state to join their families, immigrants must pass a series of questions to prove that they are who they say they are and that they are a part of the family that they claim. The story tells what the boy does to prepare for the process and how he passes the test. Author: Milly Lee