I was thinking about the teacher who wondered where authors get these ideas. It’s more complicated when we are considering historical fiction. When students read historical fiction, the first thing they ask me is "What part was true?" Even adults need to know background information so they can associate new knowledge with stored knowledge.
One of the titles that popped onto my desk recently was actually released in 2007. Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf, Houghton Mifflin, 2007. ISBN 9780618535798. Since reading Someone Named Eva made me think about it, dwell upon it, and research it, I decided to bring it back to your attention. You’ll definitely want to read the 2007 review Betsy Bird wrote on Someone Named Eva. I agree with her that some books just slip through the crack and don’t receive the attention they deserve.
Someone Named Eva will inspire many conversations between adults and children. My friend Dana read this with her daughter and reported the conversations were in-depth and meaningful. Joan M. Wolf details in her author’s note the background information we need to understand how Hitler could order his troops to totally destroy the village Lidice in then Czechoslovakia June 10, 1942, and how some children were ripped from their families to be Germanized and adopted into German families. Students who read Someone Named Eva will want to research the Lebensborn program, political prisoners, concentration camps, Aryan standards, and the Mother’s Cross.
Check out Joan M. Wolf’s blog to see how long it took her to write Someone Named Eva.
Visit the www.lidice-memorial.cz and click the British flag for English.
Check out different covers at Richard Tuschman’s blog. The book I’m holding in hand was illustrated by Eric Bowman.
Read SE Bowman’s blog, too.
When we lived in Germany in the mid-90’s, I met a young German mother who talked about the kindergeld she received from the government for her 5 children. She told me it was money to help raise her children and to reward her for helping to rebuild the German population since they’d been experiencing a decline in the population rate. According to the wikipedia article, this is called a child benefit and originated in Sweden. It is given in the UK, Ireland, and Australia, also. I haven’t heard much chatter about this elsewhere so I wonder if this practice will spread or will it disappear?