Educating The Next Generation
The Missing by Michael Rosen is nonfiction exploring what happened to members of the author’s family during World War II. It is suitable for ages ten years and over.
Michael Rosen’s family are Jewish. At the start of the war, he had relatives in France and Poland. They had disappeared without a trace by the time war had ended.
The author sets out on a quest to find his missing family members. He finds the fate of some, but not all.
The book is also about World War II and the Holocaust. Michael Rosen writes in such a way as to educate young minds but not to scare them witless. We need to tell the next generation in order to keep the memories of the innocents alive.
Powerful – May We Never Forget
The Boy From Block 66 by Limor Regev is a powerful true tale of Moshe Kessler and his family during World War II.
Moshe Kessler was born in an area that kept swapping between being Czech or Hungarian territory. He was born in 1930 and forced to grow up very quickly under the Nazi occupation of Hungary.
We see how previously close neighbours and friends turned as the jackboots marched in.
Moshe Kessler spent over a year being transported to various concentration camps and on death marches until liberation in the spring of 1945. He had grown up in the Jewish faith but like many, he felt abandoned by God in the camps. Moshe Kessler turned his back on God, only returning to faith in later years.
Yvonne Child Of The Somme by Sara Rowell is a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era.
The reader becomes immersed into French life during the early part of the twentieth century. The author drops in on mother Marie’s life as a domestic servant in 1900 before following Yvonne’s life from 1901.
Life for women in France at the turn of the century was hard. We learn that a third of all births in Paris in 1900 was to single mothers and yet there was no pressure on the fathers to claim responsibility. Females were at the mercy of males. Domestic servants were at risk of abuse from other male servants or their masters.
The poor were seen as a problem for society that was ruled by the male elite. “The wealthy male elite… saw poor people not as individuals but as a … problem.” There was no poor relief and life was a lottery. Many women could not afford to keep their babies.
Child Of A Bygone Era by Peter Hunt is a fascinating account of the author’s early life.
Born in 1940, Peter Hunt spent his early years in Britain before moving to Hong Kong after the war and then returning to Britain for boarding school.
The reader is treated to glimpses of the author’s life in these very different environments. We hear how he travelled on the Queen Mary as well as freight ships – very different modes of transport.
What particularly caught my attention was the mention of a newsagent called Stan Hawkins who was a Poole Pirates supporter. I have watched the Pirates race when I was on holiday. As a speedway supporter for over forty years, Peter Hunt’s mention of speedway and what it is, was a real treat for me.