The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Waiting on Wednesday #62: Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin October 12, 2016

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

My pick of the week is:

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Blood for Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2)

By: Ryan Graudin

Coming: 1 November 2016

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Summary:

The action-packed, thrilling sequel to Ryan Graudin’s Wolf by Wolf.

There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.

 

Why I’m excited:

I was incredibly intrigued by Wolf by Wolf. My great-grandfather and grandfather both fought in World War II. I grew up obsessed with learning about WWII due to the pride of being their great-granddaughter/granddaughter. It’s interesting to ponder what the world could have been like if the Axis powers had ended up winning the war.

Why I need you to be excited:

I’m a giant history nerd, of course I’m going to push a historical novel! (:

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Please Be Kind, Rewind: 17 – 30 May 2015 May 30, 2015

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More good reading weeks! We also got to spend some time with hubby’s family Memorial Day weekend. One of his cousins got married and we traveled to Knoxville to celebrate. It was an absolute blast and we wish them many years of happiness! ❤ I’m buckling down and getting caught up on blog work. I would like to get far enough ahead that I only have to sit down maybe once a week or so to work on the blog. I’m going to take it slow again this summer, but I’m also sticking to my schedule. Hoping if I can get enough work done in the next two weeks, I’ll be ready! Hubby’s military schedule is all shades of crazy this summer, so it’ll mostly be me and the kiddos on our own. Sucks, but it is what it is.

 affiliate links used below

Completed:

The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter

The Heir by Kiera Cass

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

Nothing but Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Currently Reading:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick

New to My Shelf:
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt
Finding the Worm by Mark Goldblatt(Both Goldblatt books were sent by Cassie McGinty for a review! I haven’t decided if the reviews will go up here or on Voyages of the Backyard Explorers yet! Maybe BOTH! haha)

From Mary: (She’s the bestest best friend ever)

A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefanoARC (My TBR may just fly out the window for this one! <3)
Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth WeinARC
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski(She surprised me with a finished copy! Also got my ARC signed <3)
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell(Take THAT USPS! I STILL HAVE IT!)

Trades: (Thanks, SO MUCH!)

Brazen by Katherine Longshore
Mortal Heart by Robin LaFeversARC
Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne BlankmanARC
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine KuderickARC
The Fall by Bethany GriffinARC
Doll Bones by Holly BlackARC
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
All Fall Down by Ally CarterARC
The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan
A Cold Legacy by Megan ShepherdARC (My collection is complete now!)
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman & Megan SpoonerARC
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Clariel by Garth NixARC

 

Top Ten Tuesday #61: Books Santa Can Put Under the Tree December 23, 2014

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Books Santa Can Put Under the Tree

T’was the night before the night before Christmas and all through the house… blah blah blah. Santa, could you please leave these under the tree? 🙂

1. This Shattered World by Aime Kaufman & Megan Spooner


2. The Falconer by Elizabeth May


3. Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor


4. The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory


5. The Young Elites by Marie Lu


6. Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley


7. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith


8. Artemis Fowl The Last Guardian by Eoin Colfer


9. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch


10. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

 

Please Be Kind, Rewind: 19 October – 15 November 2014 November 15, 2014

It’s been a long while and I apologise. Just when I was ready to get back in the thick of things after taking a bit of time away from blogging to focus on a summer of fun with my kiddos, the news breaks of a certain author stalking a fellow blogger. Well, needless to say it left a bitter taste in my mouth and killed my returning enthusiasm to jump back in the blogging life. My first priority is the safety of my family. We like our privacy which is why I don’t post pictures of my kiddos or use their real names around here or on Twitter. My Instagram is private and I even use their nicknames their. An author showing up on a blogger’s doorstep is a terrifying thought. It really made me think about giving it up. I was out of the habit and it would be easy to walk away. I don’t post negative reviews, but there was part of me that thought better safe than sorry. You know? But after much consideration, I’ve decided to stick with it. Cautiously, mind you, but stick with it.

I didn’t get everything read that I wanted before YALLFest, but I got the main things read. There’s time for the rest! As for YALLFest, I had a BLAST and hope I get to go again next year. I have some books by YALLFest authors that I’m planning to giveaway. The downside is, they aren’t signed, but HEY! Free books! I haven’t decided when I’m going to have the giveaway, but keep an eye out!

I’ve also taken up crocheting. I’ve wanted to learn for quite a while, and as a birthday treat to myself, I bought some hooks & yarn and set to it! If you check out Whimsical Mama Designs on Facebook, you can see a few things I’ve made so far that are for sale! I have several more things to add to the album. I’ve fallen quite in love with it. A nice way to relax and be productive at the same time! (: The kiddos love picking out new hats on Pinterest for mommy to make. Santa’s elf is quite busy! (; If you check it out and you see something you’d like, let me know! I’d be happy to work with you. (:

Since I went to YALLFest, I didn’t do NaNo this year. I also have lots of research to do for my next WIP. If you see my list of library books at the end, it’s not hard to guess the setting! I’m very excited about it as it’s an idea I’ve held dear for a quite a while and want to sit down and write. Other than that, I’m staying mum!

Punk & Bug are getting super excited about the holidays and it’s making me excited too. I love seeing their excitement! We watch the reindeer on ReindeerCam.com. Punk wants to know all the things about reindeer now.

Thank you to all the readers who have been checking back diligently to see if a new post has come up! You are a huge part of why I have decided to stick with it. I’ve also decided to post the backdated things I have typed up but took down from the schedule. Reviews and such have been adjusted so they’ll be going up starting tomorrow. (Hopefully, if I don’t get caught up working on the scarf I’m crocheting!)

***affiliate links are used below***

 

Completed:
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass) by Sarah J Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass) by Sarah J Maas

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) by Laini Taylor

Night of Cake & Puppets (Kindle Single) (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy) by Laini Taylor

 

 

Currently Reading:

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone) by Laini Taylor

Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles) by Lauren DeStefano

 

Read with the Kiddos:
The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sis

Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana (My First I Can Read)  by James Dean

 

New to My Shelf:
Perfect Ruin (The Internment Chronicles) by Lauren DeStefano

The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy)by Marie Rutkoski

In the Shadows by Kiersten White & Jim di Bartolo

White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements) by Jennifer Armentrout

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass)by Sarah J Maas

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass) by Sarah J Maas

The Maze Runner Series (Maze Runner)by James Dashner

Prodigy: A Legend Novel by Marie Lu

Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor & Jim di Bartolo

 

From the Library:
The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry by Peter Sis

The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, Day by Elie Wiesel

The Box from Braunau: In Search of My Father’s War

Ladybug Girl and the Dress-up Dilemma by Jacky Davis & David Soman

Meet the Adelies (Happy Feet)

Biscuit Loves the Library (My First I Can Read)

The Greedy Python (The World of Eric Carle) by Eric Carle

The Pigeon Needs a Bath!

Splat the Cat: Good Night, Sleep Tight (I Can Read Book 1)

1, 2, 3 to the Zoo by Eric Carle

Big Bear, Little Bear (Disney/Pixar Brave) (Step into Reading)

When the War Never Ends: The Voices of Military Members with PTSD and Their Families

Binding Their Wounds: America’s Assault on Its Veterans

The Buchenwald Report

My Father’s Secret War

Flight of the Reindeer: The True Story of Santa Claus and His Christmas Mission

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to World War II

 

 

Hello July, Goodbye June 2014! Plus a giveaway! July 1, 2014

No way is it already July. No. Way. June was a hectic month in our household. Hubby was gone to school 90% of the month. That left me juggling all the household things plus the blog. I thought I’d gotten far enough ahead that I was okay, but it ended up being not quite far enough. No worries. I am working hard to get a good amount ahead. I have reviews scheduled through the middle of September. Of those books, I’ve read through the middle of August. There are a few release week reviews I have scheduled. Now to transition that from paper to computer! July. I still can’t believe it. Wow. I’ve hit it. Well, in a week, but I’ve done it. I’ve been blogging for a solid year now! (Bookwise, this blog is actually about 3 1/2 years old!) This has been an incredible year. Full of ups and downs for sure, but I’ve had a blast on this journey. I’ve made some great friends and met a lot of awesome authors! Here’s to another year of blogging! Cheers! Make sure you check out the giveaway at the end and keep an eye out for LOTS of upcoming giveaways! (:

 

Books I read in June (in order of completion)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling (audiobook)

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton

Mind GamesPerfect Lie by Kiersten White

Taken & Stolen by Erin Bowman

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (audiobook & paperback)

Frozen by Erin Bowman

Shadow and Bone, The Tailor, & The Witch of Duza by Leigh Bardugo

 

Books with the kiddos: (I mostly kept track!)

Pete the Cat Play Ball! by James Dean

Pete the Cat Pete’s Big Lunch by James Dean

Pete the Cat Pete at the Beach by James Dean

Pete the Cat Too Cool For School by James Dean

Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean

Pete the Cat a Pet for Pete

Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes

Pete the Cat Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Pete the Cat Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Pete the Cat and His Four Buttons

 

Coming up in June

17 First Kisses Blog Tour

Punk’s birthday party

Trip to VA

BLOGOVERSARY!

 

Reviews posted

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

My Not So Super Sweet Life by Rachel Harris

The Selection by Kiera Cass

The Elite by Kiera Cass

 

Most visited

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Bag Reads

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR

Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

 

Goals for July
Work on commenting and visiting other blogs

Read more with the kiddos

Stay ahead of schedule

post everyday this month

 

 

July releases I’m excited for:

Oceanborn by Amalie Howard (Oh hells yeah! I need MOAR Lo!)

On the Fence by Kasie West

Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris

July TBR:
Oceanborn by Amalie Howard 

Accidentally Married on Purpose by Rachel Harris 

Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo

 

Challenge Update:

I’m involved with four challenges officially.

Edelweiss & Netgalley challenge: 15/25 (Perfect Lies, Cinderella’s Dress, Frozen)

TBR Pile challenge: 45/11-20 {I can and most likely WILL be increasing my level on this. I’m also not including ARCs in this unless I complete them after the book is released} (City of Heavenly Fire, Mind Games, Perfect Lies, Taken, Stolen, Frozen, Shadow & Bone, Clockwork Angel)

Series challenge: 13/4-6 {I can and most likely will increase my level on this as well} (The Mortal Instruments, Taken)

Real” Book challenge: 33/21-30 (City of Heavenly Fire, Mind Games, Perfect Lies, Taken, Frozen, Shadow & Bone, Clockwork Angel)

How was your June? What’s up for July?

 

GIVEAWAY NEWS!!!

I’m kicking off my blogoversary celebration now. I’ll have giveaways going up constantly on the blog and on Twitter so make sure you keep your eye out! (:

GIVEAWAY!!

Up for grabs in this first giveaway is an ARC of Infinite by the lovely Jodi Meadows.

This giveaway is open to US only (Sorry international readers! I promise I will one day have giveaways for you too!) Entrants must be 13 years old to enter. Those entrants under 18 MUST have parental consent. Giveaway is open July 1st 2014 (12am EST) through July 31st 2014 (12am EST). I reserve the right to disqualify entries in violation of my giveaway policies. All entries WILL be verified. Good luck. May the odds be ever in your favor! (:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Top Ten Tuesday #43: Summer TBR June 17, 2014

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR

I’m starting to do better about my TBR lists (Winter 6/10Fall3/10)! I read 6/11 books from my Spring TBR. I’m such a mood driven reader that it sometimes proves difficult to stick to a reading plan. I think I have a good mix of books for this summer so hopefully I can get closer to actually finishing this time! (:

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I think it’s time to read it. I stumbled across a spoiler, but I think I’m in a mindset to handle it.

Frozen by Erin Bowman (I actually started this yesterday so GO ME!) I received an ARC of this and a finished set of Taken and Frozen from HarperCollins. I HATE that I put it off until now. LOVE.

Panic by Lauren Oliver. Another season TBR for this… hopefully summer is the time! 

As You Turn Away by Molli Moran. Ugh. It keeps slipping through the cracks. MUST READ.

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. I’ve been sorta in a mood for contemporaries so Katie and Jennifer Echols are on the radar.

On the Fence by Kasie West. I have an ARC and like I said above, kinda in a contemporary mood.

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings. I KNOW. This should’ve been read age go, but ya know. 

Oceanborn by Amalie Howard. Amalie told me to check the acknowledgements, so I’m super intrigued. Plus, Lo. I neeeeeeds him.

Deception by CJ Redwine. CJ sent me a signed copy, and I’m so excited to read it and my ARC of Deliverance in one go. Mmmm Logan.

Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley. I sent this to my kindle THE DAY it went up and then haven’t read it yet. *sigh* Now would be the perfect time to read it while hubby’s at a military school himself haha! (: LOVE Joy!

Tell me, what’s on your Summer TBR? In case you’re interested, these are the reviews to the books I completed from my Spring TBR: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman, After the End by Amy Plum, Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnston, and The Falconer by Elizabeth May

 

Top Ten Tuesday #42: Books I’ve Read So Far in 2014 June 10, 2014

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten-ish Books I’ve Read So Far in 2014 

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson 

The Falconer by Elizabeth May 

17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen 

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare 

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch 

Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd 

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein 

Evertrue by Brodi Ashton 

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

 

*ARC Review* Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton June 8, 2014

***I was granted permission to read this by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Entangled Teen!*** 

***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 3stars
Pub date: 3 June 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Historical Fiction, Fairy Tale
Format: e-ARC provided by the publisher
Status: standalone

Summary:

Being seventeen during World War II is tough. Finding out you’re the next keeper of the real Cinderella’s dresses is even tougher.
Kate simply wants to create window displays at the department store where she’s working, trying to help out with the war effort. But when long-lost relatives from Poland arrive with a steamer trunk they claim holds the Cinderella’s dresses, life gets complicated.
Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart, Johnny, stuck in the middle of battle, and her great aunt losing her wits, Kate has to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.

After all, the descendants of the wicked stepsisters will stop at nothing to get what they think they deserve

 

My thoughts:

I wasn’t terribly pleased with Cinderella’s Dress. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it most certainly wasn’t how things turned out. Again, if I was the DNF type, this would’ve most likely been abandoned.

The cover is gorgeous and the summary promised such potential. It could have been an incredibly done retelling. Sadly, it fell short by miles.

The broken English was horrendous. It was so hard to understand. I had to reread dozens of passages trying to piece together what was trying to be conveyed.

The Cinderellalegend flip flopped between cousins and step-sisters a time or two and it bothered me. If a legend is going to be used, please use the same version consistently! And stick with the Polish name or the English one after the legend is revealed. Flipping between the two was tiresome.

For a YA novel, this had a more MG feel. It had a complex story idea, but was too simply portrayed. I also felt like it was full of filler scenes. I was far more interested in the young wartime love than the protection of the dress. It felt like more time was spent developing the romance than anything else. Even that wasn’t completely redeeming. All of the characters fell flat and failed to perform. 

I loved the idea of presenting part of the story through war correspondence. I actually have a WIP iidea mulling around about that and hve for ages. However, I feel like there were letters missing. I flipped back a few times thinking I might have accidentally skipped a letter or two thanks to mischievous toddlers. I never did. There were just story gaps and quite a few.The letters were still my favourite part. Especially the letters between Johnny and Kate. I’m happy that hubby and I have our own wartime letters that we wrote while he was deployed. 

I liked that the women had to give up jobs because the GIs returend home was included, but I feel it could’ve been presented in a better way. Creating that drama between Kate and Johnny wasn’t needed.

The one thing that really bothered me was the dropping of Kate’s father and brother. One is a massive spoiler, so I won’t delve into it too dar other than it was completely unnecessary. It did nothing for the story. Her brother? Just gone from the story. No more letters or mentions. It. Bothered. Me. Like. Crazy.

I will say that it was just interesting enough to keep me reading. More for finding out what happened between Kate and Johnny than anything else. The dresses were just blah. Despite being major players in the story, I feel like they didn’t bring much to the table. Kate was also rather careless with their protection. I get that a 17 year old may not be the most responsible person in the world, but still. 

The second half of the book was immensely better. It wasn’t completely enough to be rewarding for sticking it out but it did redeem it a bit. The ending did feel a little disappointing. Things didn’t feel wrapped up. The mystery of the magic behind the dresses was never fully explained. I still want to know how they got their power if a friend – not a fairy godmother was responsible for them. Ah, well. An okay read. Can’t say that I would recommend it. I am definitely not investing in a copy.

About the author:

SHONNA SLAYTON is the author of the YA novel Cinderella’s Dress, out June 3, 2014 with Entangled Teen. She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. While writing Cinderella’s Dress she reflected on her days as a high-school senior in British Columbia when she convinced her supervisors at a sportswear store to let her design a few windows—it was glorious fun while it lasted. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.

 

Top Ten Tuesday #39: Books About Friendship May 20, 2014

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Books About Friendship

Punk & Ladybug wanted to include two of their favourites about friends. Of course they’re Pete books!

What books made your list this week? These aren’t strictly about friendships, but the friendships in them are some of my favourites.

 

Top Ten Tuesday #36: If You Like X, Try These Ten Books April 29, 2014

 

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Each week, the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish think up a fun theme for the week and participating bloggers around the net join in. The theme for this week is:

Top Ten Books to Read if You Like Pearl Harbor/WWII Movies

Night by Elie Wiesel. This is one of the best books to read from a Holocaust survivor. I read it in high school for a class. It’s such a powerful book and I think it should be a required reading.

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman. A great read from inside Hitler’s inner circle. It has fictional characters as well as historical figures in it so tread lightly if you’re looking for a purist portrayal of history.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Another great read. I’d never read (that I recall) from the German perspective before this. It’s also in the view of an unique narrator – Death. It’s a great look in WWII poor Germany.

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank. It’s been ages since I read this, but it was so fantastic that I have to recommend it. I’m sure almost everyone has heard of Anne Frank, but I think more people should read her diary. Such an inspirational young woman who would’ve grown to do great things if her life hadn’t been cut short.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I remember reading this when I did a paper on Lois Lowry in junior high. I should reread it soon because it was a good short read. Annemarie is such a strong young woman who shows great courage in a greatly troubled time.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Um. Wow. This book is great. The first half can be a bit of an info dump, but it’s what the character is supposed to do.The second half is beyond incredible. Both narrators are extremely courageous and it’s beautifully written. I laughed, I cried, I hugged my copy close.


Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. The companion to Code Name Verity, it’s even more powerful than the first. It’s an inside view of the Ravensbruck women’s work camp. It’s hauntingly beautiful. Another one I think should be a required reading! (:

A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Another high school read. I don’t remember much, but it was a good read.

American Girls Molly & Kit by Valerie Tripp. These might appeal to the younger crowd. I read the Molly books as a young girl and have read a few of the Kit books as I got older once they came out. I plan on sharing them with my kiddos!

Dear America there are a couple of good ones in the series. A few that I’ve read are One Eye Laughing, the Other Eye Weeping, My Secret War. Christmas After All, and Early Sunday Morning. These are also good for the younger side.


Those are my top WWII/Pearl Harbor (movie) era books! So some of them are series and the other books aren’t listed.  (: Tell me, what are your favourite WWII era books that you’ve read? What did you pick for your topic this week? Feel free to leave a link to your page and I’ll come visit!

 

 
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