Remembrance Day Books
I am so thankful for the freedom in our country and for those who sacrificed to protect that freedom. As much as I want to maintain the innocence in my children, I do want to inform them in age appropriate ways that freedom is not free and to encourage empathy and compassion for those still living in war zones today. It's a delicate balance and one that I don't take lightly. I think as parents we know our children best and we know what they can handle and understand.
Here are some of our reads this year. Any time we're reading anything historical it's really important to me that I source out narratives from different view points to try as much as we're able to gather a more rounded perspective.
Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot
Margot Tbeis Raven
This might be one of my favourites we've read for Remembrance Day this year. I actually knew nothing about the Berlin Airlift so that was really fascinating and educational. The book tells a story of a little girl in West Berlin and a U.S. Pilot who would drop candy from the sky for the children near the airfield. It became a massive project with Americans collecting thousands of pounds of candy and supplies.
What I love is that it tells a story of hope in the midst of tragedy. It shows how small acts of kindness can make such a difference in a person's life and shows global community. My kids could really identify with Mercedes and it was enlightening to them to see how much a piece of candy could mean to a person who had lost so much. It's really a beautiful story and I totally cried.
The Little Ships
This story is again told from the perspective of a young girl, the daughter of a fishing boat captain. It tells the story of all the small crafts who were called upon to help ferry the soldiers stranded at Dunkirk.
It's a great story and again brings light to something I had never heard of regarding WWII. It touches on the realities of war but in a gentle way.
We've read this book several years in a row and it's such a good one. I love reading the true story of the beloved Winnie the Pooh tales and it's nice to have the Canadian connection with this book. Again, what I appreciate is that it touches on the war but in a gentle way.
Sally M. Walker
Very similar to Finding Winnie. Great story and kids will love some of Winnie's shenanigans.
Meet Elsie MacGill
Wow - this is an amazing biography. Elsie MacGill was a powerhouse and did so much for not only the field of aeronautical engineering but also for women's rights. She faced not only the struggles of a culture who did not allow women the vote and a world war but also personally faced polio. This is a great read any time (so great for women in STEM) but fits well during Remembrance Day as she made massive contributions to the war effort through the Hawker Hurricanes she built.
Sticker Dressing the World Wars
There are little blurbs about various wars and kids can explore the uniforms of various soldiers through sticker play. It's nice for playing with while we do read aloud.
You Would Want to Be a WWII Pilot and.... Secret Agent
We haven't gotten to reading these fully but in my skimming they have a lot of historical information delivered in a light hearted manner. They have lots of pictures and are a good non fiction resource.
This book deals with D-Day and follows a diverse group of characteres. Dee - a young U.S. soldier, Samira - a french girl who works as a spy to thwart Germany, James - a Canadian paratrooper, and Henry - a medic. They all have high stake missions.
I haven't read the book but my son is almost finished it and is enjoying it.
I Survived- The Battle of D-Day 1944
My son loves all the I Survived books. They're a great historical fiction resource. This book follows Paul whose French village has been under Nazi control. His Jewish best friend has disappeared and things are very hard. He then finds an American paratrooper and is able to help be a part of the D-Day invasion.
My husband and son read this one together last year and both enjoyed the story.
Behind Enemy Lines
Another one I haven't read but that my son loved. This is a collection of short stories about spies that were behind enemy lines. The quick stories were really interesting to my son and highlight the courage each person showed in the midst of impossible circumstances.
These are the bulk of books we're currently reading and as always we'll read In Flander's Fields. We've studied the life of John McCrae before as well. If you have suggestions for books I'd love to hear them!