October '45: Childhood Memories of the War

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Overview

Creative Education is proud to present an award-winning collection of books from Creative Editions. Recognized around the world for their excellence in writing, illustration and design, Creative Editions' titles will introduce your students to some of the finest books published today, from wonderful original works to the best-loved classics. Enchanting, exquisite and entertaining, each and every one of these stories will be a prized possession for you and your readers.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ann Van Deusen
In September 1939, seven-year-old Jean-Louis and his family find themselves caught up in the invasion of France by the Germans. Unlike other autobiographical books of World War II, this is a recounting of the experiences of a Catholic boy living through very troubled times. His father joins the French army and the family goes to live with relatives in Brittany to escape Paris. After the German invasion, Jean-Louis's father returns and takes the family back to their home in Paris. Through wonderful illustrations and simple clear text, we see the war and its effects as a child might absorb it. From the long bread lines, and shortage of fuel, from the families taken away in the night to listening to the wireless, all are told without adult judgement. Jean-Louis Besson is an illustrator of children's books in Europe and uses that talent well in the drawings included in the book. One appears to actually have been done during the war. World War II is not usually studied at the elementary level, but give this to those young students who gravitate to those books. Perhaps their parents will read it aloud to them and enrich everyone.
Carolyn Phelan
Jean-Louis is seven years old when World War II begins and German soldiers occupy his native France. First evacuated to Brittany, then returning to his home in Paris, he describes day-to-day life over the next six years: listening to Uncle Albert's stories of World War I, watching the Germans' trucks and motorcycles roll into town, learning to ride a bicycle, hating the look and smell of gas masks, making do when the only plentiful food is rutabagas, wondering what has happened to the Jewish students taken away one summer vacation, faking ration tickets, watching planes being shot down over Paris, and receiving chewing gum from the American soldiers who liberate the city. Besson's memory for detail gives the story immediacy, expressed in the journal-style text and the charming line-and-watercolor-wash illustrations that appear on every page. Readers will find this a memorable portrait of ordinary life in an extraordinary time and place. In the foreword, Besson acknowledges that for many, the war was "infinitely more cruel," but he offers "as faithful a recollection as possible of what a little boy in France saw and heard during those years when, contrary to popular belief, most people simply waited for the war to end, taking sides neither for the Resistance nor for the collaboration, but rather trying to feed themselves, keep warm, and avoid deprivation as much as possible, simply living through events."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152009557
  • Publisher: Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 10 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.77 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 0.62 (d)

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