Friday, October 2, 2020

What's With War?

Seriously?  Do all boys have a fascination with war, or is it just mine?

If there is a book or show out there about battles, my boys are in line to grab it.  They are history buffs that just eat that stuff up.  The good news is that there are some really cool resources out there.  The bad news is our bookshelves are starting to get pretty full!

 The newest in our collection is Amazing World War II Stories, available at Timberdoodle.  While it is available in the 5th grade Curriculum Kit, I think it is a good read for 4th grade and up.  There is no lack of details, and it is definitely not watered down.  I even caught my husband reading it last night after I talked about it.

While the version you see that we have contains four separate books, the one now available has all four books bound together.


So what is Amazing World War II Stories?

This fun, history based book is a collection of four separate stories-

  • U.S. Ghost Army,
  • The Unbreakable Zamperini
  • Night Witches at War, and
  • Navajo Code Talkers.

All are approximately 30 pages long and written in a graphic novel style.  While this style is not always this momma's favorite, it IS one on my son's favorite and he has added this to his list of "must read" for everyone.  It is also a great style for those kiddos who just do not love reading.  Often the pictures are enough to pull them in and encourage them to read. One of the things I appreciate about this collection is that while written in a cartoon fashion, it alternates between a narration of the events and the cartoon narrative, providing a healthy balance of fun and fact.

U.S. Ghost Army is most definitely my favorite of the four stories.  It tells of the "ghost" army that was used during WWII to confuse and distract German troops.  It is not a story I was overly familiar familiar with and I was amazed that such tactics were really used.  Blow up tanks, recordings of troop activity, "fake" planes."  Who knew?

The Unbreakable Zamperini is about the rising Olympic runner Louis Zamperini, who survived a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean only to be taken hostage by the Japanese.  This story tells of his two year torturous existence as a prisoner of war and his will to survive.  This is a great story for children of how courage and determination can allow you to overcome even the worst of circumstances. It talks in detail about the infamous "the Bird," known for his terrible torture tactics.

Night Witches at War is about a brave unit of Soviet women who became pilots to fight against the Germans.  Using old equipment and planes and often in the dark of night, these brave women were instrumental in helping win the war.  The courage they showed is praise worthy for sure!

Navajo Code Talkers is probably the most familiar of the four stories.  While it was not until 1968 that the missions of the Navajo Code Breakers were declassified, much has since been made of them.  These brave group of soldiers created and then implemented an unbreakable code that was used in WWII and beyond.  Information passed from the ground to those in charge and vice versus saved many lives and eventually helped win the war.
Each book contains a glossary at the end of the book with any possible unfamiliar terms, as well as a Read More section that lists a few additional books on the subject. You will also find a few internet sites listed for further study and three critical thinking questions per book.  These questions are a great way to check for reading comprehension and spur deeper conversation with your child after reading. 

As always, Timberdoodle has come through again, offering a wonderful Historical fiction collection about World War II that will capture your child's curiosity and provide a story that will not only entertain them, but inspire and teach them.  Amazing World War II Stories is a great collection to add to your home and studies!


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