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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

Category results for 'Scandinavia'.

Number the Stars is a book I know I read in middle school or high school, but since I couldn't remember much about it I decided to read it again, and I'm glad I did -- it's not a long story, but manages to portray a concise and moving picture of a family living in Denmark during the Nazis' "relocation" of the Jews. They may not be part of a resistance movement, but when their friends' lives are in danger, they know they must act to help them. The climax involves ten-year-old Annemarie who is faced with a task of delivering a necessary item to people who are trying to flee.

I was especially interested in the Afterword at the end which confirms that, while the families portrayed in this story are fictional, it is closely based on many events that actually happened (broadly) and inspired by brave people who did actually risk their lives (and some died) to save others. Definitely recommended.

Scrounged From: Our local flea market

Format: Paperback
Author: Lois Lowry
Pages: 137
Content Advisory: Murders of a sister and others are mentioned, and peril and suspense while Jews are smuggled away, people encounter soldiers, etc.

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Adventures with Waffles is a Norwegian tale by a Norwegian author, all about two children who live next door to each other: Trille and Lena. They are nine years old, and get into all kinds of mischief together, because they are best friends -- or at least, Lena is Trille's best friend, but he often wonders whether or not she is his. Lena is the loud one with crazy ideas, while Trille is more subdued, but he follows through on some craziness of his own.

One of the topics in the story, aside from general mischief and close shaves, is the fact that Lena has no dad, and wants to figure out a way to get one. Another topic is death: Trille's "Auntie Granny" dies, and he struggles with his feelings of missing her. There are a couple very sensitive scenes where he talks about this feelings with trusted adults, and I really liked how he was free to express such things -- especially the scene were his father plays him a new song he wrote called "Sad Son, Sad Dad."

As over-the-top as the adventures sometimes are (though nothing too absurd), it's the realistic relationships and caring family that is really at the heart of this book. As an aside, the way the characters are silhouetted on the cover and on the beginning page of each chapter reminds me a little bit of the illustrations in the Bobbsey Twins books. Though there are no larger illustrations in the book, the chapters are fairly short, making it a good read-aloud for early-elementary-aged children. 

Scrounged From: Sonlight

Format: Paperback
Author: Maria Parr
Pages: 240
Content Advisory: A death happens in this story (of Trille's "Auntie Granny," but it is handled sensitively.

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The Christmas Wish is an adorable book. While the vast marjority of the narrative has to do with a little girl named Anja (pronounced "ON-ya") making an epic journey across vast snowscapes to the North Pole, there is still plenty of Christmas cheer here, including Anja finally meeting up with Santa Claus at the end and helping to drive his sleigh.

This book is illustrated with photographs, which include some very realistic-looking images of Anja riding a horse, skiiing behind a reindeer, and curling up for a nap with a polar bear. This is a lovely little Christmas fantasy that portrays kindness and bravery, wrapped up in a bow of cuteness and beautiful Scandinavian landscapes.

Scrounged From: Our local library

Format: Hardcover
Author: Lori Evert
Ilustrator: Per Breiehagen
Pages: 48
Content Advisory: None

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