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I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season! As we enter into the new year 2017, I am reflecting on the honor I had working with students on amazing stories in 2016.
A WWII veteran named Al Taylor from Davenport, Iowa was an eyewitness to Pearl Harbor. This young man worked triage and never forgot the horrors he saw 75 years ago on December 7, 1941. The One in Charge is available on Amazon.
Henry Langrehr of Clinton, Iowa was a paratrooper who crashed through the glass roof of a greenhouse. He was taken as a POW and became an eyewitness to the horrors of Auschwitz concentration camp. The prisoners were forced to sleep in a barbed wire pen just outside the gates. Saved By Prayers is available on Amazon.
Dorothy Anderson shared her story of being a WAC in Berlin after the war ended. It was interesting hearing her talk about taking dictation for General Eisenhower and meeting First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt when she surprised the girls for Thanksgiving dinner together. A Woman in a Man's Army is available on Amazon.
Reed Robertson was a bombardier during WWII, stationed in the Pacific theater. One day his unit was ordered to load cameras instead of bombs and they flew over the devastated area where the A-bomb was dropped. They took pictures both from the air and on the ground. It was a scene Reed would never forget and he gladly shared it with the students who wrote and illustrated his story. Capturing the Moment is available on Amazon.
Mwalimu's Dream was written by a teen from Kenya who came to the USA on scholarship. He worked hard raising the money for a water well for his village. Students from Davenport West HS, his host family, and many exchange students helped fundraise. The book is updated to include matching curriculum and info about a new medical center for the people in his village. Mwalimu's Dream is available on Amazon.
Hungarian Eva Apathy was with her medical student husband in Berlin during the Nazi regime. She told her author and illustrator about the fear she had when the soldiers were around. Also, she shared about a time when the bombs were going off and they jumped from a moving train. Her greatest fear was she had left their papers on board; the ones that proved they were not Jewish. My Guardian Angel is available on Amazon.
Virgil Dawson was a sailor on board ship in Tokyo Bay the day t he peace treaty was signed, ending World War II. He watched through binoculars as the ceremony happened. His young author and illustrator were in awe of his story, his pictures and learning about history through the eyes of someone who experienced it. An Eyewitness to the End will be available on Amazon by February 2017.
Eldon Baxter was a sailor aboard ship the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. His ship, the USS West Virginia, went down. He was fortunate to get into a boat and helped other survivors aboard to go to Ford Island. He wrote his parents a letter saying he was alive but alas, the Navy sent them a letter saying he was killed so they had a funeral for him. Like many other fortunate parents, they were so thankful to learn the truth. A Day Never Forgotten will be available on Amazon in Spring of 2017
Henry Wood was a farm boy in high school who was sent into the war in Europe. He was wounded in a battle in Germany and came home with two purple hearts. His sister was a Rosie the Riveter working on Arsenal Island in Rock Island, Illinois. She, along with their parents, were so thankful that he was coming home alive. From Student to Soldier will become available in Spring of 2017.
Leland Chandler from Galesburg, Illinois was a soldier who was captured by the Japanese. He was treated horribly as a Prisoner of War and, once home, he found it impossible to let go of the hatred in his heart. That is, until he was invited back to Japan and was asked to forgive them during a ceremony. The Soldier Who Forgave will be available in Spring of 2017.
Soldier Floyd Ragsdale was at the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium where thousands of young men died. He buried the dead and served his country well. He was fortunate to come home and have a good life. On the 70th anniversary, Floyd planned to go back to Belgium. He met with two boy scouts to be interviewed before his trip. Just days later, he passed away, with his bags packed ready to go back to the site of the battle. Floyd Ragsdale: A Soldier Who Dodged Death in WWII will become available in Spring of 2017.
Eva Bostock was a young Jewish girl in Vienna, Austria who survived the Holocaust. After the war ended, she immigrated to Australia where she lived a good, long life. Two young ladies in Florida, interested in capturing her story for A BOOK by ME, interviewed her via Skype. Sadly, Eva died while they created this book but she died knowing her story would be remembered. Alone will be available on Amazon in Spring of 2017.
David Tuck was a Jewish kid in Zdunska Wola, Poland. Miraculously, he survived the Holocaust and young Noah Bernstein both wrote and illustrated his story. David recently celebrated his 87th birthday, Chanukah and the fact they were editing Noah's completed project. It was a wonderful celebration in the greater Philadelphia area. The Story of a Boy, a Red Cup, and the Will to Survive will be available on Amazon in spring of 2017.
Small But Mighty is the story of Miep Gies who bravely provided food and supplies to Anne Frank's family. Two young ladies in Geneseo, Illinois saw an actress play Miep and they wanted to share her story for young readers. This book will be available on Amazon in Spring of 2017.
Jewish Jammer is a new release in the Hero Series. It's the story of a young Jewish man named Steve Blinn who served during Operation Desert Storm. His dog tags could not reflect his Jewish faith because they knew if the enemy captured him, he would be treated far worse as a Jew. This story was written by Steve's daughter Elise and it is available to purchase on Amazon.
Elise Blinn is now completing the story of a friendship between her relative Viola Ruffner andBooker T. Washington for the Human Rights Series. Mr. Washington always said Viola was one of his best friends. Elise is proud that the Ruffner family and the Washington family still meet annually in respect of this special friendship that proved, even so long ago, it is possible to be color blind. Colours of Friendship will be available in Spring of 2017.
Amen Gabre is an Ethiopian girl selected to be a scholarship recipient as an exchange student to the USA. She was advised by her Talented and Gifted teacher to write an essay for a statewide contest and surprisingly, she won first prize. The passion Amen carries for young women in her country was the reason she won. She explains the struggles in her book entitled Plight of Ethiopian Girls which will be available on Amazon in February of 2017.
Young Toby Stoudt went off to join the Merchant Marines in 1944 when he was sixteen years old. His service was aboard ships that transported soldiers and supplies for the U.S. Military. Unsung Hero on the Sea will be available on Amazon in Spring of 2017.