Things have been crazy, but we still manage to squeeze in some schoolwork. We had an American History Club meeting on the Cold War. With as important as the Cold War was, and the long time it lasted, there were few historical fiction novels set in that time period for a younger audience that I could find. It wasn’t a total bust – we managed to scrape together two, and they were both excellent.
First off, there was The Apothecary by Maile Meloy. This added a fantastical/magical component to the fears of the Cold War. It is set in England, just after WWII, and you see all fears associated with the Russians and the nuclear bombs, played out in young, teen-aged kids. The book brought up all kinds of discussion point about the Cold War, and kept two nearly teen-aged boys interested in the topic.
The other find was The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman. This book is set in Hollywood, but still in the 1950s so you still get quite a bit about McCarthyism and atom bomb scares. This is aimed at a slightly younger audience (which was perfect, since it was read by a couple of just about 10-year old girls). You also see some strong character growth and development in speaking up for wrong things. The ending doesn’t wrap all the plot lines into a neat little bow, which lead to some discussion of “What do YOU think happened?”
We’ve used some other books recently, but I want to keep this post thematic. Linking up with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers’ Weekly Wrap-Up