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Search tags: ww-ii-history
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review 2019-11-17 16:16
Ideal for the middle school or high school student
Julius Caesar: Dictator for Life (Revised Edition) - Denise Rinaldo

My son is currently studying Roman history at school, and during one of our trips to our local library a couple of weeks ago he picked up as many books about Roman history as he could find. This Julius Caesar biography was among them, and while it's geared to a slightly older group of learners I'm not one to tell someone what they can't read. As soon as we arrived home, though, the books landed on the floor in his room, where they've sat ever since.

 

One of the reasons for this is that reading it wasn't an obligation. While he has a considerable amount of homework every week, he's allowed to choose what he wants to read. Because of this, he usual meets his obligations by reading books in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Dog Man series, both of which he enjoys greatly. In addition to that, though, he also has a weekly project due that rotates between Literature, Writing, Science, and Current Events. This week Literature came up in the rotation, which means that he has to not just read a book but "respond" to it in some way. I decided to use the assignment to push him to read the Caesar biography, and for it I decided to read it myself.

 

For an adult it's a quick read, with plenty of illustrations and info boxes. Denise Rinaldo does a good job of presenting the basic facts of Caesar's life, with some helpful short-term background information added in for context. Overall, it's a fine introduction for anyone seeking "just the facts" on one of history's big names, and is ideal for the middle-school or high school audience to whom it is geared. Hopefully with a little help an elementary school reader can enjoy it as well!

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review 2019-11-17 15:21
My review of Williams's "Æthelred the Unready: The Ill-Counselled King" is up!
Athelred the Unready: The Ill-Counselled King - Ann Williams

My sixth review is up on the Best Biographies of British Monarchs website! Please read and enjoy with my compliments

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review 2019-11-17 02:59
WWII History Part 4 of 4
Stranger in the House: Women's Stories of Men Returning from the Second World War - Julie Summers

Funnily enough, I read this book last even though it was the first one that Summers wrote on the subject. Stranger in the House focuses on the men returning from the war and the effects that the war and separation from hearth and home had on themselves and the women in their lives. In the early 20th century, there was no real understanding of PTSD of which many POW (especially those who were imprisoned in the Far East and worked on the Burma Thailand Railway) suffered. On average, they were only expected to live a further 15 years because of the severity of their wounds and the maltreatment that went on for such an extended period of time. Those that lived beyond this were not considered 'lucky'. Most of the men who returned from war never again connected with their families because they were so changed and nothing of their experiences was ever discussed. Because Summers used secondhand accounts from the wives, daughters, and granddaughters coupled with primary written sources this is a unique perspective on a much discussed topic. 8/10

 

 

What's Up Next: The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More Than Ever by Gavin Edwards

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-11-17 02:56
WWII History Part 3 of 4
When The Children Came Home: Stories Of Wartime Evacuees - Julie Summers

By the time I got to this book I was starting to get a bit fatigued with the topic of WWII but once I got truly stuck into this book and discovered just how much I didn't know on the topic...I was hooked. Children were evacuated to the countryside during WWII (this much I knew before) but I learned that they were also sent to America, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. Parents weren't especially picky as long as they were away from London. This book is chock full of recollections which recall the 'waves' of children which would leave suddenly only to be called home again especially during the Phoney War when the prejudice against 'townies' coupled with the desire to see their children again prompted parents to yank their kids back to the city. Understandably, the uncertainty of the situation created a lot of anxiety among children and adults alike. The psychological trauma of abandonment had a lifelong effect on most of the children which manifested itself in a variety of ways. Some children never reconnected with their biological family while others felt their foster family was their 'true' family (some were eventually adopted and stayed in their new homes). I had never really given much thought on the intricacies of the evacuation scheme and what kind of result it had on the children and their families so this was an eye-opening reading experience. 9/10 

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2019-11-17 02:53
WWII History Part 2 of 4
Jambusters: The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War - Julie Summers

While I enjoyed reading all of Summers' books, Jambusters: The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War was my favorite of the lot. This volume was specifically about the role that the Women's Institute (WI) performed on both the national and county levels. These women played hosts to evacuees, took over the role of primary household manager, assumed the responsibility for the nation's food production, and so much more. Not only was the WI important during the war for the nation but even more so for women who made up its membership. The main goal of the WI was to provide a space for women to socialize (there's real value in this) and educate themselves on everything from how to preserve food and stretch out their meager rations to animal husbandry. (Many local chapters kept farm animals which they then sold to raise funds for war work.) I knew that they were a social group but I had no idea just how large of a role that they played. This just reinforced how amazing women truly are. 10/10

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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