Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
How does Erik Larson manage to write such beautifully descriptive and engaging books about historical events? He amazes us with each new offering, and Dead Wake is no exception. Larson plunges us into the story of the massive ship Lusitania and its nemesis, submarine U-20. The deaths of nearly 1,200 passengers and crew from the Lusitania set the stage for the United States' entry into World War I. Thoroughly researched with an eye for fascinating details, history buffs won't want to miss this one!
March: Book Two
written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
illustrations by Nate Powell
March: Book Two continues John Lewis' powerful story of the struggle for civil rights in America. (Read our review of Book One here. Don't forget--Book One is available in our book-club-in-a-box kit.) It focuses on the first Freedom Rides to the South, the March on Washington, including King's I Have a Dream speech, and the hate and vitriol with which these social pioneers against injustice were met. Unflinchingly honest, this graphic novel is every bit as good as Book One. Look for Book Three next year.
Ship of Dolls
Ship of Dolls is a superb addition to historical fiction for middle school readers. The actions and reactions between 11-year-old Lexie, short for Electra, and her grandparents were terrific. Parenteau does a great job of describing their growing love for each other and their transition into a family group. Watching Lexie interact with her peers was equally fascinating. You, too, will want to pull out Louise's hair and stick your tongue out at Jack! Learning about the background of the original "ship of dolls" was an added bonus. Reminiscent of authors like Beverly Cleary and L. M. Montgomery. We can't wait to read the next installment, Dolls of Hope.