Gottesfeld, Jeff. The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank's Window. (Peter McCarty, Illustrator.) NY: Knopf Books, 2016.Told from the perspective of the tree outside Anne Frank's window—and illustrated by a Caldecott Honor artist—this book introduces her story in a gentle and incredibly powerful way to a young audience.
The tree in the courtyard was a horse chestnut. Her leaves were green stars; her flowers foaming cones of white and pink. Seagulls flocked to her shade. She spread roots and reached skyward in peace.
The tree watched a little girl, who played and laughed and wrote in a diary. When strangers invaded the city and warplanes roared overhead, the tree watched the girl peek out of the curtained window of the annex. It watched as she and her family were taken away—and when her father returned after the war, alone.
The tree died the summer Anne Frank would have turned eighty-one, but its seeds and saplings have been planted around the world as a symbol of peace. Its story, and Anne’s story, are beautifully told and illustrated in this powerful picture book.
Stargardt, Nicholas. The German War: A Nation Under Arms, 1939-1945. NY: Basic Books, 2015.As early as 1941, Allied victory in World War II seemed all but assured. How and why, then, did the Germans prolong the barbaric conflict for three and a half more years?
In The German War, acclaimed historian Nicholas Stargardt draws on an extraordinary range of primary source materials—personal diaries, court records, and military correspondence—to answer this question. He offers an unprecedented portrait of wartime Germany, bringing the hopes and expectations of the German people—from infantrymen and tank commanders on the Eastern front to civilians on the home front—to vivid life. While most historians identify the German defeat at Stalingrad as the moment when the average German citizen turned against the war effort, Stargardt demonstrates that the Wehrmacht in fact retained the staunch support of the patriotic German populace until the bitter end.
Astonishing in its breadth and humanity, The German War is a groundbreaking new interpretation of what drove the Germans to fight—and keep fighting—for a lost cause.
Tornillo, Louis. What Do You Know About the Holocaust? Race and Genocide. FL: BookLocker.com, 2015.
Written by a former public school teacher, What Do You Know is organized around an interactive quiz that tests the reader's knowledge, followed by short essays which deeply explore key events and issues with rich historical detail. It focuses on the racial ideology that drove the Holocaust, and links it to the racism that is still a potent force in our own society. "What Do You Know About The Holocaust? Race and Genocide" will surprise and provoke readers.