2014 Ann Arbor/Ypsi Reads Youth Reading List
• Breaking Stalin’s Nose
by Eugene Yelchin
In Stalinist Russia 10 year old Sasha Zaichik is a Soviet Young Pioneer and has always been a rule follower. But one day, his father, the best Communist he knows, is arrested.
• The Butterfly
by Patricia Polacco
During the Nazi occupation of France, Monique’s mother hides a Jewish family in her basement and tries to help them escape to freedom.
• The Impossible Journey
by Gloria Whelan
One Russian night in 1934, Marya and Georgi's parents disappear. Despite high risks, Katya and Misha had spoken against the government. The children, alone and desperate, fear the worst. Will they ever see their parents again?
• Letters from Rifka
by Karen Hesse
In letters to her cousin, a young Jewish girl chronicles her family’s flight from Russia in 1919 and her own experiences when she must be left in Belgium for a while when the others emigrate to America.
• Little Dog Lost : the true story of a brave dog named Baltic
by Monica Carnesi
Recounts the dramatic sea rescue of a curious dog who wandered onto a frozen river only to be swept out to the Baltic Sea on a broken piece of ice on which he was stranded for 2 days while rescuers tried to save him.
• Memories of Survival
by Esther Nisenthal Krinitz
A story of surviving the Holocaust in Poland, illustrated in a collection of embroidered panels, and told in the survivor’s own words.
• Number the Stars
by Lois Lowry
In 1943 during the occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.
• Red Kite, Blue Kite
by Ji-li Jiang
When Tai Shan and his father Baba are separated during China’s Cultural Revolution, they are able to stay close by greeting one another every day with flying kites until Baba, like the kites, is free.
• Revolution is Not a Dinner Party
by Ying Chang Compestine
Starting in 1972 when she is nine years old, Ling the daughter of two doctors, struggles to make sense of the communist’s Cultural Revolution, which empties stores of food, homes of appliances deemed “bourgeois” and people of laughter.
• Two Bobbies : a true story of Hurricane Katrina, friendship and survival
by Kirby Larson
Bobbi and Bob Cat are the best of friends. When their hometown of New Orleans was struck by Hurricane Katrina, many lost everything. But not Bobbi and Bob Cat—they still had each other. Only by staying together could they survive.
• Broken Song
by Kathryn Lasky
In 1897, fifteen-year-old Reuven Bloom, a Russian Jew, must set aside his dreams of playing the violin in order to save himself and his baby sister after the rest of their family is murdered.
• Burying the Sun
by Gloria Whelan
In Leningrad in 1941, when Russia and Germany are at war, fourteen-year-old Georgi vows to help his family and his city during the terrible siege.
• The Devil’s Arithmetic
by Jane Yolen
Hannah resents the traditions of her Jewish heritage until time travel places her in the middle of a small Jewish village in Nazi-occupied Poland.
• The Endless Steppe
by Esther Hautzig
During World War II when she was eleven-years-old, the author and her family were arrested in Poland by the Russians as political enemies and exiled to Siberia.
• Farewell to Manzanar
by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston
The American-born author describes her family’s experience and impressions when they were forced to relocate in a camp for the Japanese in Owens Valley, California during World War II.
• I Want to Live : the diary of a young girl in Stalin’s Russia
by Nina Lugovskaya
Recently unearthed in the archives of Stalin’s secret police, the NKVD, Nina Lugovskaya’s diary offers rare insight into the life of a teenage girl in Stalin’s Russia—when fear of arrest was a fact of daily life.
• Lonek’s Journey : the true story of a boy’s escape to freedom
by Dorit Bader Whiteman
Details the true story of Lonek, an eleven-year-old Jewish boy whose family moved to Russia to escape persecution in Poland during World War II, but were sent to a Russian gulag, and his eventual escape to Israel.
• A Long Walk to Water : based on a true story
by Linda Sue Park
When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan.
• My Own Revolution
by Carolyn Marsden
Quietly rebelling against the Communist regime in 1960s Czechoslovakia, fourteen-year-old Patrick listens to contraband Beatles records and spray paints slogans until party interference forces his family to make a dangerous decision.
• Zlata’s Diary : a child’s life in Sarajevo
by Zlata Filipović
As war engulfs Sarajevo, Zlata Filipović becomes a witness to food shortages and the deaths of friends and learns to wait out bombardments in a neighbor’s cellar. Yet throughout she remains courageous and observant.