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8 Moving Books Like The Book Thief

8 Moving Books Like The Book Thief

By Books Like This One

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About the list

Are you a bibliophile? Imagine being able to read reviews on good books! Enjoy books chosen for you by Friendspire.
Have you ever thought about why you like to read?  What makes you so interested in reading books vs just "watching" a book? I mean the "Harry Potter" books and movies are about the same, right? (The answer to that question is no. Dear God, the answer is definitely no.) Well then, what makes you a bibliophile? Is it that smell of paperback novels or the feeling of t
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The Tattooist of Auschwitz

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2018 | Heather Morris

Rated by 216 people

The #1 International Bestseller & New York Times Bestseller This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity. “The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners. Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive. One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her. A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

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First They Killed My Father

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2000 | Loung Ung

Rated by 7 people

Loung Ung lived in Phnom Penh, one of seven children of a high-ranking government official. She was a precocious child who loved the open city markets, fried cricket, chicken fights, and sassing her parents. As Loung Ung begins her story, your students will see their own lives reflected in the details of her middle-class life. April 1975: Ma and Pa enjoy taking us to a noodle shop in the morning before Pa goes off to work. As usual, the place is filled with people having breakfast. The clang and clatter of spoons against the bottom of bowls, the slurping of hot tea and soup, the smell of garlic, cilantro, ginger, and beef broth in the air make my stomach rumble with hunger. Across from us, a man uses chopsticks to shovel noodles into his mouth. Next to him, a girl dips a piece of chicken into a small saucer of hoisin sauce while her mother cleans her teeth with a toothpick. Noodle soup is a traditional breakfast for Cambodians and Chinese. We usually have this, or for a special treat, French bread with iced coffee. "Sit still," Ma says as she reaches down to stop my leg midswing, but I end up kicking her hand. Ma gives me a stern look and a swift slap on my leg. "Don't you ever sit still? You are five years old. You are the most troublesome child. Why can't you be like your sisters? How Will you ever grow up to be a proper young lady?" Ma sighs. Of course I have heard all this before. When Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung's family was forced to flee their home and hide their previous life of privilege. A story of political oppression in Cambodia, First They Killed My Father is all the more striking and intense because it is told from the perspective of a child, one who is thrust into situations that she doesn't understand, as she is only five years old when the terror begins. Loung Ung made many difficult journeys during her Cambodian youth, starting with her evacuation from her hometown. More meaningful were the journeys of self, which led her from a life as the child of a large and privileged family to that of an orphan and work camp laborer. From the deaths of her parents and sisters, students will gain a deeper understanding of the power that family relationships have in our lives. From the loss of economic status, the ways in which our social class can define our days is drawn in sharper relief. From her growing knowledge of the regime that has caused her to suffer, students learn of the vast gulf that often exists between a government's intentions and its actions, between words and deeds. Ung's story offers an account of the warping effects that war can have on an individual, as well as of the possibility of survival and triumph through seemingly insurmountable adversity. Students learn of the daily difficulties that come with an atmosphere of political instability-how neighbors cannot trust one another, how common people become executioners, how a political regime can value the acquisition of weapons before feeding its own people, and the tragedy that necessarily follows. The result is a book of incredible power which demonstrates a small child's will to survive, the forces in her life that sustained her through feelings of rage, love, and guilt to a life of activism against global forces of violence. A history of war that was not on many American's radar screens, Ung's recollections are a chilling testament to what happens when a political movement becomes invulnerable to reason in its quest for power, and also of the ability of the human spirit to endure the harshest conditions. Today, Loung Ung is National Spokesperson for the "Campaign for a Landmine Free World," a program of the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation. VVAF founded the International Campaign to Ban Landmines which was the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. Loung Ung lectures extensively throughout the United States. She lives in Washington, D.C.

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Girl at War

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2015 | Sara Nović

Rated by 1 people

For readers of The Tiger’s Wife and All the Light We Cannot See comes a powerful debut novel about a girl’s coming of age-and how her sense of family, friendship, love, and belonging is profoundly shaped by war. Zagreb, 1991. Ana Jurić is a carefree ten-year-old, living with her family in a small apartment in Croatia’s capital. But that year, civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, splintering Ana’s idyllic childhood. Daily life is altered by food rations and air raid drills, and soccer matches are replaced by sniper fire. Neighbors grow suspicious of one another, and Ana’s sense of safety starts to fray. When the war arrives at her doorstep, Ana must find her way in a dangerous world. New York, 2001. Ana is now a college student in Manhattan. Though she’s tried to move on from her past, she can’t escape her memories of war-secrets she keeps even from those closest to her. Haunted by the events that forever changed her family, Ana returns to Croatia after a decade away, hoping to make peace with the place she once called home. As she faces her ghosts, she must come to terms with her country’s difficult history and the events that interrupted her childhood years before. Moving back and forth through time, Girl at War is an honest, generous, brilliantly written novel that illuminates how history shapes the individual. Sara Nović fearlessly shows the impact of war on one young girl-and its legacy on all of us. It’s a debut by a writer who has stared into recent history to find a story that continues to resonate today. Advance praise for Girl at War “An unforgettable portrait of how war forever changes the life of the individual, Girl at War is a remarkable debut by a writer working with deep reserves of talent, heart, and mind.”-Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story and Little Failure “Intimate, crushingly brutal, and beautiful, Girl at War is the work of someone far more mature than her years. It constitutes signal proof that even great history is insufficient to tell the story of the twentieth century in Europe: Great fiction like this book is required, too.”-Robert D. Kaplan, author of Balkan Ghosts and Asia’s Cauldron “Nović’s important debut brings painfully home the jarring fact that what happens in today’s headlines on a daily basis-the atrocities of wars in Africa and the Mideast-is neither new nor even particularly the worst that humankind can commit. . . . . Thanks to Nović’s considerable skill, Ana’s return visit to her homeland and her past is nearly as cathartic for the reader as it is for Ana.”-Booklist (starred review) “With piercing clarity and devastating wit, Sara Nović traces the enduring fallout of a childhood interrupted by conflict. Girl at War is a deeply affecting meditation on identity and memory, loss and survival, and what it means to feel at home in the world.”-Jennifer duBois, author of Cartwheel and A Partial History of Lost Causes “Nović writes with ruthless understatement not only about a modern city subjected to primitive horrors, but about young Ana’s subsequent war against the American urge to forget. Sentence after perfectly weighted sentence lands with the sound of a gavel. The first fifty pages might be the best fifty pages you read this year.”-Jonathan Dee, author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Privileges and A Thousand Pardons

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