Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Friedrich by Hans Peter Richter

This is a young adult book with easy language and is a quick read. I completed the book in about an hour, but am still thinking about it much later. This book was written in 1961 in the German language and was translated to English in 1970. The story is told from the perspective of a German boy who lives in the same building as Friedrich, a Jewish boy. They are born a week apart and their families become friends. At first the Jewish family is much better off, financially, than the German family as they have been affected by the German economy. As Hitler comes into power, slowly things start to change and Friedrich's family become victims of Jewish persecution. The situation escalates as the story progresses. While the book does not go into the concentration camps, there is enough horror in the everyday life of a Jewish family at that time. It is a sad look into the ugliness of the sinful human nature. No happy ending in this book. Older children and adults should read this to be reminded of a horrific historic time, which should never be repeated.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

Beverly Cleary has written over 30 books for children. I can remember reading her Ramona books as a child and relating well to the characters. She understands the ways of children and this shows in her true-to-life characters. Henry Huggins was her first book written in 1950. It was very easy reading and basically is about a boy, the dog he finds, and his adventures with the dog and his friends. Not much education value in this one, but it was a fun read. Kids still played outside after school in this age before video games and computers. I did have to explain to my young son what a typewriter was as he has never seen or heard of one.