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Welcome to the book blog, featuring reviews for teens from InfoSoup librarians and users!


Author: Fern Schumer Chapman

This book written in the voice of Edith (Tiddy) explains the anguish of being sent to America, from Germany, as a child to be protected from the Nazis. It is a poignant story because the author explains how harrowing the ship voyage was; how unfamiliar everything in Chicago was; how difficult school and life would be for an immigrant who was lonely and homesick and shunned as World War II took up speed on this side of the Atlantic. What makes it all even more compelling is that the author was writing this based on true events in her family. This is a very important book and I highly recommend it to middle schoolers all the way on up. The double images of stars, the star of David, and the stars for the American military came together in a lovely synergy of loss to TWO groups on p. 200.

Author: Thanhha Lai

This book, written in terse verse, is easy to read but packed with emotions. Ten year old Ha escapes with her family from South Vietnam in 1975 and eventually ends up in Alabama. The journey is long and difficult and acclimating to Alabama is no small feat either. Ha is mistreated at school and is trying to be strong for her family. She is having a hard time adjusting to the new culture and ways and is especially challenged by learning English. (I like how deftly it is pointed out how confusing English can be!) This would be a terrific discussion book.Thank goodness for the characters of the mother, Miss Washington, and Vu Lee! In the end note the author says, "I also hope after you finish this book that you sit close to someone you love and implore that person to tell and tell and tell their story." Marvelous! (Please note: the book is based on the author's own experiences.)