25 November 2008

Library Things

I positively love widgets. I have the Random Books from My Library widget on my LibrarysCat Book List Blog. On my personal blog I have a postcrossing widget and a wonderfully fun Wordle. If you have never done one before, you should visit my blog and try it! It makes a word mosaic of sorts with the most common words from your blog.

I was fortunate to participate in a library program called 23 Things. We had to blog about it and while I no longer update it, there are some fun things linked there...photo mosaics, sandboxes, wikis, technorati, delicious, bubblr, and of all things::::LibraryThing! It is rather funny looking back at my first experience there! We basically learned about Web 2.0 applications and had to work with them from our own offices...it was great. Thanks to the PLAN folks for providing me with this opportunity.

Great question as always.


19 November 2008

42. The Butterfly

The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco tells the true story of the author’s aunt who lived in France during the Nazi occupation in World War II. In a very touching and light-handed manner, Polacco introduces the harshness of the Jewish Holocaust. Monique was a young girl during this period and finds that her mother has been hiding French Jews in their basement. She and a little girl her age discover one another and share their thoughts and dreams. When the family is on the verge of discovery, Monique’s mother assists in the family’s attempt to escape. The papillon, or butterfly, is a symbol of the freedom that should be standard for each person in the world as well as the violence that crushes that freedom. Although this story is not all happy endings, the subject of the Holocaust is introduced in manner that would be acceptable for younger children.

Polacco’s website provides a number of interactive activities and video clips of the real life people in this beautiful story. Another interesting idea to go along with this book would be The Butterfly Project of the Holocaust Museum of Houston. They are hoping to collect 1.5 million hand made butterflies by 2012 to represent the “innocent children who perished in the Holocaust”. Although it will be just two little butterflies, I am sending mine off to the museum and hope that you will as well. If you are an educator, please consider having your students do the same.

TITLE: The Butterfly
AUTHOR: Patricia Polacco
TYPE: non-fiction, historical
RECOMMEND: An excellent children's book for Holocaust education

18 November 2008

Tuesday Things

Boston Bibliophile, you always do such a wonderful job with our questions. Even when I do not have enough time to answer them, I make time to check out everyone else's answers. That only makes sense if you consider that it takes more effort to compose a message than it does to read one! Thank you again!

1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
2. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
3. Nation by Terry Pratchett
4. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
5. Anathem by Neal Stephenson
6. American Wife: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld
7. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
8. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski
9. Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) by Stephenie Meyer
10. Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland

I loved American Wife and have linked to my review in the list above. I have started The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, it is my book club's December book, and while I am sure that I will like it, I am having to read it slowly in the beginning to get all of the people straight. The rest of the books, I am going to try to sort by desire to read!

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
The Graveyard Book
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel

Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3)
Any Given Doomsday

If any of you can convince me to move books either direction, I am up for recommendations! Happy Reading!


17 November 2008

41. Hana's Suitcase

Hana’s Suitcase is the story of one woman’s successful attempts to bring the Holocaust alive for Japanese children. It is also the story of Czech Jew Hana Brady and her brother George, who survived the Holocaust without knowing his sister’s final fate. Fumiko Ishioka, Director of the Tokyo Holocaust Education and Resource Center, wanted to have just one item from the Holocaust that Japanese children could touch and relate to – so they would really understand the harsh reality of the Holocaust. Fumiko was given Hana’s suitcase. On behalf of the Japanese children who visited the museum, Fumiko worked tirelessly to find out more about Hana. The book tells this story. It is a wonderful testament to the good people of this world who make a difference in the lives of children everywhere. And in some ways, Fumiko’s quest reunited George with the memory of his sister.

The story was first told by Paul Lungen in an article in the Canadian Jewish News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Radio presented a documentary by the author, Karen Levine in January 2001. You can listen to it here. In addition, there are many remarkable links from this broadcast page. Another interesting development with this book is the production of a play: Holocaust story makes theatre debut, as it is reported in the Canadian Jewish News.

TITLE: Hana’s Suitcase
AUTHOR: Karen Levine
PAGES: 111
TYPE: non-fiction
AWARDS: 2002 Award for Older Readers, Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Book Awards
RECOMMEND: A true story that has a big impact. I really loved this story.