Linda Sullivan recommends two genres

Susan EspirituOur Town Readers

Book Whisperer Linda Sullivan recommends one WWII novel, The Forest of Vanishing Stars, set in the Polish forest, and one for the middle grades, To: Night Owl From: Dogfish.

The Forest of Vanishing Stars is written by New York Times bestselling author Kristin Harmel who has been writing professionally since she was 16 with dozens of novels translated into more than 30 languages.

Linda asks, “How did I not know about the many Jews who hid from the Nazis in the forests during WWII?”

Kristin Harmel writes a story about a young woman who was kidnapped as a toddler and raised in the forests of Eastern Europe. By 1942, she is in her early 20s, alone and cut off from the world. Is it by chance or some divine intervention when she encounters a group of Jewish refugees who need help surviving the Nazis and the forest? This is a powerful story of perseverance!

After finishing the novel, our Book Whisperer and her husband watched Defiance, a film starring Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber about three Jewish brothers who, along with Jews from the ghettoes, survived in the forests of Belarus for four years. The Forest of Vanishing Stars and Defiance are a good flight pairing to learn more about a little-known piece of WWII history.

To: Night Owl From: Dogfish is an epistolary novel written for tweens, but anyone who loves a good story will enjoy the journey of two 12-year-old girls, Avery and Bett. Imagine: you receive an email from a stranger telling you the two of you will be sisters because your parents are getting married. Wait! What? You did not even know your parent was dating anyone! Through emails and an eight-week summer camp, the girls learn what it takes to be a friend and how to define family. Linda recommends the writing and themes are meant for ages 11 and up.

Holly Goldberg Sloan has a background in film and writes contemporary novels for young readers. Meg Wolitzer is a New York Times bestselling author of adult, young adult and middle grade fiction. Night Owl is their first time co-authoring a novel.

Remember: Knox County Online Library to search for Linda’s recommendations each week.

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