The first is called "The Tortoise and the Soldier".
This book surprised me and was a delight for me and the lad.
I read this book first, I wanted to preview it for my lad. When I finished it I said "Son, you will like this book, you should read it. It really happened."
He somewhat uncertainly took the book because it's out of the usual genre that he likes to read. And he had it read in two days flat....reading it not only during his required reading time, but also at night before he went to bed.
The end result was "Mom, that was a GOOD BOOK. I really liked those pictures too. That was a neat story about the tortoise mom."
Look at these detailed pictures that help to describe what was going on.
Detailed black and white illustrations help tell the story.
Lessons in the book:
- People are people regardless of what side of the war they are on.
- How a dream to travel came to fruition in the Navy.
- Sometimes little things (like having a pet tortoise) can make big things less scary
- Heading home can be more alarming then heading away from home.
Neat to find out the tortoise was real!! In reality the tortoise was called Blake. You can learn more him here.
This book about WW2 I read about half way through with my lad but it was getting to be too real for him, and he wasn't ready for all the details in this book as much as he was interested in it.
It is loaded with TONS of historical facts and lots of black and white pictures. Those, as I continued to read the book, I would show my boy, particularly the ones with men working cannons, and hiding in the snow, and what not.
The chapters are, for the most part, short and easily read.
They are very detailed and explained why the Battle of the Bulge happened as it did. It was a hard fought battle which the Americans ended up winning but at heavy cost.
I found some of the words too large for a child. Quite frankly some of the words I didn't know what they meant.. so for this being a young readers edition I had to query it being for children younger than 11-12.
I found it fascinating watching how the battle played out. Horrified by the actions of the SS group that murdered the surrendering soldiers. Pleased by the determination of troops to battle on. Dismayed by cowardice.Disgusted by ineptitude. It was all the different things that come up in war.