October '45: Childhood Memories of War (Creative Editions)

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9780152009557: October '45: Childhood Memories of War (Creative Editions)
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Recounts the World War II experiences of a seven to twelve-year-old French boy from a middle-class Catholic family, describing how he reacted to the changing circumstances

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

From Booklist:

Gr. 4^-6. 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." Carolyn Phelan

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Besson, Jean-Louis
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Jean-Louis Besson
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