Friday, October 16, 2009

books and such

I liked this piece in the Guardian on Roald Dahl in light of the awesome-looking Fantastic Mr. Fox movie.

Also book-related--I just started reading Francine Prose's book on Anne Frank. It somehow manages to touch on all the recent Anne Frank news--bits of her tree being planted in the US and the only known video coverage of Anne. I'm enjoying it so far, though my track record with non-fiction isn't great.

Re: that tree thing--I really admire the Anne Frank Center's various efforts to spread knowledge and tolerance and whatnot. The Anne Frank House/Museum in the Netherlands recently published a couple of comic books about the Holocaust (intended for educational purposes, but fairly good reads) and they're very well-done. The art is Tintin-esque, and the stories (aimed at an early teen audience, I think) don't shy away from the horrors of the Holocaust while still exploring other wartime themes. The first one, A Family Secret, involves a modern-day Dutch boy searching through his grandmother's attic when he discovers a scrapbook from her childhood and learns the story of her best friend, a Jewish girl who was deported. This one nicely explores the Dutch WWII experience (though in an effort to show different reactions, one of the protagonist's brothers joins the Nazis, the other joins the resistance, whcih is not entirely realistic). The sequel, The Search, highlights what happens to the Jewish friend and her family. Anyway, like, I said, I thought these were well-done and would be perfect for classroom use (or personal reading use, if you're interested in that sort of thing).

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