- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
Mr. Orange, written by Dutch author Truus Matti , is historical fiction for Grade 6 and up. The time is 1943. The place is Manhattan. Linus Muller’s eldest brother Albie has enlisted in the U.S. military and is headed to the European front to fight WWII. Linus takes over Albie’s job of delivering groceries for the Muller family grocery store. This is Linus’s first real after school job and he is proud to help out the family and do his part for the war effort on the home front. Linus delivers groceries with a handmade cart on wheels and meets all kinds of customers as he makes his deliveries. Every other week Linus delivers a crate of oranges to a new customer who lives on 59th street. This new customer has an accent and a foreign sounding name that is complicated to pronounce and write down, so Linus just calls him "Mr. Orange". After many deliveries, Linus and Mr. Orange become friends and Linus discovers that Mr. Orange is an artist with great imagination and faith in the future. In fact, Mr. Orange is Dutch artist Piet Mondrian who moved from Europe to New York in the 1940’s to escape the war . Linus has the rare privilege of witnessing the creation of Mondrian's painting "Victory Boogie Woogie", a painting to celebrate the city of New York, the end of WW II , and the future. Mr. Orange was awarded a Silver Slate Pencil (a prestigious Dutch award) in 2012.
If you are looking for an exciting, fast paced, suspenseful and action packed historical fiction read Sophia’s War: A Tale of Revolution written by Newbery Medalist Avi. Twelve year old Sophia lives with her family in British occupied New York City in 1776. Her brother William joins the Patriot cause against the British and enlists in the rebel militia. Sophia’s mother and father must hide their support of the Patriot cause simply because they are surrounded by loyalists and must house British officers in their home. When Sophia’s brother William is injured in battle and then dies in a British prison, Sophia vows to avenge his death. Sophia soon finds herself in a very challenging situation: working as a spy for the Patriot cause. Her task is to warn General Washington of a British plan to capture West Point, a strategic Patriot stronghold overlooking the Hudson River. Benedict Arnold, a Patriot traitor, is involved in this plan but only Sophia discovers this. Sophia is a determined and strong heroine as she sets off on a perilous journey to warn General Washington of the British plan and of Benedict Arnold's treason. Short chapters and excellent writing make this thrilling tale of espionage and courage a great read for 6th graders as well as Young Adults.
Sasha has waited four years to join the Soviet Young Pioneers, and tomorrow is finally the big day. His father is a Soviet State Security officer, and a hero to Sasha. Their neighbors feel differently. When his father enters the communal kitchen in the apartment he and Sasha share with 48 other Soviet citizens, everyone quickly moves out of his way. The shocking arrest of his father in the middle of the night leaves Sasha alone. The neighbors ignore him, his aunt turns him away. He travels to the Kremlin to try to talk to Stalin who surely will help to free his wrongly imprisoned father.
This story takes place over just two days, but demonstrate how things can change in just forty-eight hours! Ten-year old Sasha goes from a loyal believer in Stalin’s regime to the realization that he must try to locate and talk to his father to learn the truth behind his mother’s death and his father’s imprisonment. Did his mother die in the hospital as his father told him or did his father turn her in to the State Security? Why is his father now a prisoner when yesterday he was a hero?
Eugene Yelchin grew up in the Soviet Union in the 1960’s, when the Soviet people knew nothing about the secrets of Stalin’s regime – the executions, the imprisonment or exile of over twenty million people. Here Yelchin provides us with a realistic glimpse into life in Stalin’s Soviet Union, and a look at his own fears.
Breaking Stalin’s Nose is a recent winner of a Newberry Honor award and is the author’s first novel. This book is also full of wonderful illustrations!
The story of Sylvia & Aki is based on true events in the lives of two young American girls whose paths cross at the start of World War II. In alternating chapters we learn how Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu meet and how their lives are affected by World War II.
Sylvia has just moved to Westminster, CA. Her family is leasing a house and farm land from a recently relocated Japanese-American family. Sylvia and her brothers are looking forward to attending the nearby Westminster School, but they’ve just been told they must attend Hoover school, the school for children from Mexican families. The conditions at Hoover lead Sylvia’s father to file a lawsuit, which turns into a landmark court case eliminating the “separate but equal” doctrine as it applies to all schools in California.
Everyone in Aki’s family is a loyal American, but following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the attitude of Americans toward their Japanese-American neighbors change. Soon Aki, her mother and older brother are sent to an internment camp in the Arizona desert called Poston. Her father is imprisoned elsewhere since he is considered a “security risk.” It is a comfort for Aki’s family knowing that the Mendez family is taking good care of their land and home, but Aki desperately misses her home and her friends at Westminster School.
Winifred Conkling interviewed both Sylvia and Aki for this book. She also provides an extensive bibliography listing relevant materials and websites. The Afterward includes historical information concerning the impact of both the internment of Japanese Americans and the Mendez lawsuit.
During the Middle Ages, in England, Matilda lived a sheltered life at the manor, tutored in Latin and other subjects by Father Leufredus. One day, Matilda was sent to live with Peg, a skilled bonesetter. Matilda became Peg's apprentice, learning how to tend to broken bones, muscle aches and sprains, and other physical ailments. Will Matilda adapt to her new life, or will she want to go back where she came from? Read Matilda Bone by Karen Cushman to find out! Matilda Bone is also available in book cd format and large print format.
Other historical fiction books that Karen Cushman wrote that take place in England are: