Deadly Aim: The Civil War Story of Michigan’s Anishinaabe Sharpshooters

Sibert Award winner Sally M. Walker crafts an engaging, middle-grade nonfiction narrative of the American Indian soldiers who bravely fought in the Civil War.

The Grand Escape

At the height of World War I, as battles raged in the trenches and in the air, another struggle for survival was being waged in the most notorious POW camp in all of Germany: Holzminden. A land-locked Alcatraz of sorts, it was home to the most troublesome Allied prisoners–and the most talented at escape. The Grand Escape tells the remarkable tale of a band of pilots who pulled off an ingenious plan and made it out of enemy territory in the biggest breakout of WWI, inspiring their countrymen in the darkest hours of the war.

The Stars at Oktober Bend

Alice is 15, with hair as red as fire and skin as pale as bone. Something inside Alice is broken: she remembers words but struggles to speak them. Still, Alice knows words are for sharing, so she pins them to posters in tucked-away places: railway waiting rooms, fish-and-chip shops, quiet corners. Manny is 16, with a scar from shoulder to elbow. Something inside Manny is broken: he was once a child soldier, forced to do terrible, violent things. But in a new land with new people who will care for him, he spends time exploring on foot. And in his pocket, he carries a poem he scooped up. And he knows the words by heart. When Manny and Alice meet, their relationship brings the beginning of love and healing.

WOW Recommends: Book of the Month for September 2018.

Reviewed in WOW Review: Reading Across Cultures, Volume XI, Issue 2.

Lost Boys

In 1982, twelve-year-old Reza has no interest in joining Iran’s war effort against Iraq. But in the wake of a tragedy and at his mother’s urging, he decides to enlist, assured by the authorities that he will achieve paradise should he die in service to his country. War does not bring the glory the boys of Iran have been promised, and Reza soon finds himself held in a prisoner-of-war camp in Iraq, where the guards not only threaten violence―they act upon it. Will Reza make it out alive? And if he does, will he even have a home to return to? Friendship, heartbreak, and Reza’s very survival are at stake as he finds solace through music and forges his own path―wherever that might take him.

Innocent Heroes

This book consists of eight connected fictional stories about a Canadian platoon in WW1. The Storming Normans have help from some very memorable animals: we meet a dog who warns soldiers in the trench of a gas attack, a donkey whose stubbornness saves the day, a cat who saves soldiers from rat bites, and many more. Each story is followed by nonfiction sections that tell the true story of these animals from around the world and of the Canadian soldiers who took Vimy Ridge. Through the friendship that grows between three of these soldiers in particular, we get a close-up look at life in the trenches, the taking of Vimy Ridge, the bonds between soldiers and their animals and what it meant to be Canadian in WW I.

It Had To Be Done

In early 1942, during the darkest months following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a group of 29 Navajo Marines, young and fresh out of boot camp, were taken into a room with bars on the windows and a guard at the door. Their task: devise a top-secret code that would thwart the sharpest cryptanalytic minds in Imperial Japan. And they succeeded.

The Great War

A toy soldier. A butter dish. A compass. Mundane objects, perhaps, but to the remarkable authors in this collection, artifacts such as these have inspired stories that go to the heart of the human experience of World War I.

Once a Shepherd

Here is the tale of Tom Shepherd, tending his lambs and shearing their fleece and wooing his sweetheart, who weaves the sheep’s wool to make him a coat. But then the Great War comes, and Tom must leave his beloved wife and his unborn child and go off to fight.