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Another compelling read: Klippen springen (English titel: The Protected)

I was given a copy of this book in German, so the review of The Protected will also be written in German. Nonetheless, a great book that deserves two thumbs up! Get your copy today!

Claire Zorns ausgezeichnetes Werk Klippen springen wurde mir dankenswerterweise vom Thienemann-Esslinger Verlag zur Verfügung gestellt.Klippenspringen

Es handelt sich um ein sehr ergreifendes, aufwühlendes Buch. Auf gewisse Art ist es mehr als ein Jugendbuch, welches sich mit dem Thema Mobbing auseinandersetzt. Vordergründig geht es natürlich in Hannahs Geschichte um Mobbing, aber das Buch ist weitaus tiefgründiger.

Die Jahre als Teenager sind für alle schwierig, umso komplizierter jedoch, wenn man in der Schule extremstem Mobbing ausgesetzt ist. Ganz fatal, wenn man durch die eigene Schwester in der gleichen Schule keinerlei Unterstützung erfährt, da sie selbst Angst um ihren Status hat. Irgendwie sollten Schwestern doch zusammenhalten. Ein sehr beängstigendes Szenario, welches die Autorin hier aufbaut.

Ein sehr angenehmer Schreibstil, die Protagonistin ist nahbar, und man kann sich unheimlich gut in die Geschichte hineinversetzen. Durch die geniale Erzähltechnik, in der verschiedene Zeitebenen ineinander verschachtelt sind, wird die Spannung gut gehalten.

Dass Mobbingattacken, und die daraus häufig resultierende Hilflosigkeit, Lähmung und die Schuldgefühle an sich, weitreichendere Folgen haben als viele Jugendliche sich das klar machen, ist ein bemerkenswerter Ansatz in diesem Buch, der hoffentlich in unserem Schulalltag gewisse Denkprozesse auslöst in Bezug auf den Umgang mit diesem Thema. Sowohl Eltern als auch Lehrer können in diesem Roman durchaus interessante Punkte finden, um einen Einstieg in Diskussionen diesbezüglich mit Teenagern zu finden, beziehungsweise einen Zugang zu Opfern zu finden, um zu helfen.

Zurecht wurde das Buch in Australien mehrmals ausgezeichnet und ich hoffe, dass es auch in Europa Gehör finden wird. Vielen Dank für diesen tollen Lesestoff!

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¡Aprende con Caillou!

caillouLearning languages is easiest when you are young and unafraid of making mistakes. Many couples are now raising their children bilingually, even if they are both native speakers of one and the same language, because it has been scientifically proven that bilingual people are not only more creative but also more successful in life.

I received a copy of this great First Spanish Word Book by Chouette Publishing, and I must say: what a coinkidink! Spanish – English. That fits our family like a glove.

A colorful and fun way for very young ones to learn their first Spanish expressions. If your kids are raised bilingually, then this adorable dictionary is a must-have. Basic words for situations the kids are already familiar with are beautifully illustrated, so that the kids want to use the newly-acquired chunks of vocabulary when exploring the pages. In case no Spanish native speaker should be around, a pronunciation guide offered for download by the publisher can be consulted. Caillou’s word book is highly recommendable!

¡Que te diviertas!

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I know it is summer, but let’s talk about spring!

We are at the beginning of August, but the weather feels like we are somewhere at the end of October. Unbelievable. The summer of 2016 is the most un-summer summer that I have ever experienced. And that is quite a statement in as much as I have seen many summers already. BefoIvyre I get carried away though and let you know how many summers exactly, I would really like to introduce you to this magical work of art about spring.

Nothing feels as good as these first warm sun beams that hit your skin after a long winter. Nothing beats the moment of nature waking up and coming back to life with all shades of green available. Nothing captures this feeling more than this book. I have to admit, I have just fallen in love with a copy of Ivy in Bloom — The Poetry of Spring from Great Poets and Writers of the Past which was written by Vanita Oelschlager and published by VanitaBooks, LLC.

Ivy in Bloom is simply marvelous! What a genius idea to use lines from the works of amazing poets and writers and create this magnificent children’s book with them! It is sheer joy and beauty. The illustrations by Kristin Blackwood are absolutely lovely! The bibliography lures children and grown-ups alike into the world of poetry. I am so glad I came across this precious publication.  Not only will teachers of the English language enjoy this book (with or without their kids!), but I hope that also many children will be inspired by the book to be creative with language.

 

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Nightmarish experiences: Memoir pieces of Jewish children who could escape from Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport.

KindertransportLast night I was kindly provided with a digital edition of the engaging book Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport by Capstone Press. I had to put all other books down and start reading immediately.

What does it feel like to live under a Nazi regime, where your family is officially treated as a second-class citizens because of your religion? If suddenly, you and your parents are unwanted in a country you had called home for all of your life? What, if you have nobody to help you and death lingers in the air? What does it feel like to be a refugee through children’s eyes? Imagine you are a five-year-old and have to get on a train to an unknown destination in the UK, without your parents, at a time when the world is teetering on the edge of war.

The remarkable narrative nonfiction story by Emma Carlson Berne conveys this feeling of despair and terror by combining eyewitness accounts, photographs, poems and other sources into an amazing survival story of seven Jewish kids. The way the book is set up makes the fear of the children tangible. It describes how the world the children knew fell apart after the Nazis took power. It sheds some light into their journeys by drawing on their memories, and also looking at what became of them after the war was over.

Embedding the children’s personal memories of the Kindertransport into explanations of the almost unfathomable horror of events in this dark chapter of German history, the book excels at giving an idea of the cruelty that Jewish people had to endure at that time. Making a connection into our day and age is inevitable, because the issue of refugees is again very topical.

The timeline and glossary provided at the end of the book are helpful for middle graders, and so are the discussion questions provided by the author. The discussion offers a good starting point for students to ask questions and to find out more about the history of WW II. Based on this they can figure out the lessons the accounts can teach us for our own life in order to hopefully avoid similar situations in generations to come.

It will be available in stores in January 2017 and every student at the age of 9-12 should have it on their reading lists.