Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

October 28, 2007

Begin the booktalk with an excerpt from the story’s first two paragraphs on page 1:

 “I am running. This is the first thing I remember. Running . I carry something, my arm curled around it, hugging it to my chest. Bread, of course. Someone is chasing me. Stop! Thief! I run. People. Shoulders. Shoes. Stop! Thief!. “
Meet Misha. He’s a young boy with nothing left to lose. And when you have nothing to lose, you have nothing to fear. But fearcan keep you safe. It can keep you out of trouble.And it can keep you from getting killed. But Misha doesn’t know fear. He doesn’t know how dangerous  the Nazis are. And if Misha doesn’t know how much danger he is in, how can he survive it?

Hitler’s Canary

October 28, 2007

Bamse is a young Danish boy who is forced to grow up quickly. Bamse comes from a family of theater people. His mother is a famous actress, his father is a talented set designer and up until now he has lived in a wonderful world of make-believe. But there is nothing make believe about the Nazis who now rule the streets of Denmark or the fear that his Jewish friend feels. Bamse own family is torn on how to proceed. Should he lay low like his Mother and Father suggest and keep a low profile to protect his family?Or, like his older brother is doing, should he risk everything and take a stand against the German invaders? Nothing is clear to Bamse anymore. The one thing that Bamse is beginning to understand is perhaps the most confusing thing of all-that not all of the Germans are bad and not all of the Danes are good. There are just some good people and some bad people, and it isn’t always easy to tell the difference.

Will Bamse be able to make the decisions necessary to save both his family and his friends? Based on a true story Hitler’s Canary by Sandi Toksvig is both a funny and gripping novel about the extraordinary courage it takes to survive.