11.16.2014

Jillicious Reading: The Paper Cowboy

The Paper Cowboy 
by Kristin Levine

Summary: Tommy is a good looking kid who is liked and followed by the kids at his school.  But what they don't know is that he is hiding many secrets.  At home, his mother is prone to severe mood swings and Tommy has to help a great deal with his little sisters. When his older sister is severely burned in an accident, things go from bad to worse.  As Mary Lou, his only ally in the house, heals in the hospital,Tommy must take over Mary Lou's early morning paper route and try to hold things together at home as his mother becomes more and more violent. Tommy lashes out, becoming a cruel bully at school, stealing from a neighborhood store, and even framing the store owner. 

Tommy dreams of being a cowboy, like the great Gary Cooper in the movie High Noon.  But instead, he is acting like one of the bad guys.  Is it too late for Tommy to make things right?   

Thoughts:  The Paper Cowboy is a powerful, authentic story of a young boy's struggle to deal with a troubled home life and to figure out who he is in the process.  Levine adeptly pulls the reader into the fragile setting where everything depends on Tommy's mother's mood and his overwhelmed father has no idea how to handle the situation.  Levine develops a complex character in Tommy - he bravely withstands his mother's abuse, tenderly protects his little sisters, and worries about the healing of his older sister; then the next day, he harshly treats kids at school, steals, and lies.  But, his inner struggle with his behaviors and the way he grows with each chapter provides hope and has the reader cheering for Tommy to do the right things. 

The historical backdrop of McCarthyism adds depth and interest to the novel.  Levine's excellent connections between the boys' bullying on the schoolyard to the adult targeting of alleged Communists allow for much thought and discussion. The theme of bullying is contrasted perfectly with the caring friendships that develop in the community once Tommy takes the time to truly get to know the people in his school and in his neighborhood.  

The Paper Cowboy is a thoughtful novel about acceptance, compassion, and overcoming life's struggles. Inspired by the author's father's childhood, the book ends with interesting notes and photographs.  

Read The Paper Cowboy if you ...  
  • enjoyed Kristin Levine's previous novels
  • like engaging historical fiction that is well-researched and immediately transports you to a different place in time
  • have ever been a bully or the victim of a bully
  • are inspired by stories of characters overcoming difficult circumstances
  • enjoy books where the characters greatly develop and grow 
  • ever wanted to be a cowboy, a hero, or just one of the good guys 
Visit Kristin Levine's website for more information about The Paper Cowboy and Ms. Levine's writing.  

NOTE:  Last year several of our 7th grade classes read Ms. Levine's The Lions of Little Rock as a class novel.  At the completion of the novel study, we Skyped with the author.  What a great experience!   She is a fun, inspiring lady.  

10.25.2014

Jillicious Reading: Memoirs

These talented authors use unique formats to tell their unforgettable life stories.  Don't miss these two outstanding additions to the memoir genre.  


Brown Girl Dreaming 
by Jacqueline Woodson

In this lyrical novel-in-verse, Newbery Honor/Coretta Scott King/Edwards Award winning author Woodson tells her story of growing up in the 1960s and 70s in two completely different places - Greenville, South Carolina and Brooklyn, New York.  

Most of Woodson's early years were spent with her mother's parents in South Carolina.  There, Jackie saw firsthand the prejudices and racial injustices that still dominated the South. But she also experienced a stable, loving home with her grandparents full of home cooking, starched dresses, and weekly visits to church.  When she moved to Brooklyn with her siblings and her single mother, she entered a different world.  The big city of New York was concrete and cold without gardens and nights on the front porch.  But, there Jackie also found more diversity, less prejudice, and dear new friends.

In addition to expressing her search for her place in two different worlds, Woodson's soulful poems also explore the struggles of growing up in a single parent home and living in the shadow of a brilliant older sister.  While her sister seemed to excel at everything, Jackie wrestled with learning to read.  In spite of this initial difficulty, she developed a love for words and stories.  When she received her first composition notebook, Jackie discovered that "words [were her] brilliance" and dreamed of one day becoming a writer.   
Brown Girl Dreaming is an eloquent memoir that beautifully explores a young girl's search for home and for her own unique voice.  Fans of Woodson's writing will love getting to know the observant, spunky young Jackie and learning what sparked her writing journey. Those new to her work will want to read everything else she's written.  And everyone will want to reflect on their own memories and tell their own story ... most likely in a crisp, new composition book! 

Watch this video to hear author Jacqueline Woodson talk about writing Brown Girl Dreaming





El Deafo
by Cece Bell

When Cece Bell was four years old, she contracted meningitis which resulted in a severe hearing loss.  This began a struggle with hearing aides, feelings of isolation, and a search for a friend who would treat her as an equal. In this creative graphic novel, Bell tells her touching, relatable story.  

As a kindergartner, Cece was able to attend a class with other deaf students.  But then her family moved and her new school didn't offer separate classes.  It's hard enough that she has to go to a new school and try to make new friends, but she also worries about her hearing aide. The Phonic Ear connects to a microphone worn by her teacher which makes hearing easier, but it is also bulky and makes Cece feel so different from the other students.  She soon discovers, however, that her teacher would forget about the microphone so Cece could hear her when she was talking in the teacher's lounge or even in the bathroom.  :)  These "special powers" and an After School Special led her to imagine an alter ego El Deafo who helps her through difficult days. Over the next few years with the help of her loving, supportive family, friends who appreciate her for who she is, and El Deafo who gives her courage, Cece begins to grow in confidence and acceptance of her disability.  


El Deafo is a true autobiographical achievement.  The graphic format is perfect;  the depiction of the characters as rabbits puts an immediate focus on ears (genius!), and the dialogue bubbles allow the reader to experience what Cece is hearing ("eh sounz lah yur unnah wawah!").  The book explores the struggles unique to one with hearing loss, but also explores universal experiences of wanting to fit in, searching for true friends, first crushes, and self-discovery.  All are handled with honesty and humor that make for an unforgettable memoir that soars right into your heart.  The book ends with a thoughtful author's note telling more about Cece Bell's later experiences and how she has now come to see her disability as a gift, noting that "Our differences are our superpowers."  El Deafo will make you want to grab your red cape and celebrate what makes you special!   

Watch this video of author Cece Bell talking about The Phonic Ear and El Deafo:



Fun fact:  Author/Illustrator Cece Bell is married to Tom Angleberger who created the amazing & hilarious Origami Yoda series and other terrific books (Crankee Doodle is another one of my favs which was illustrated by CeCe).  Holy smokes, Batman.  That is one power couple!  


8.24.2014

Jillicious Reading: All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places
by Jennifer Niven

Summary: Theodore Finch. He is a tortured soul, completely obsessed with death.  Everyday he thinks of ways he might die, but also desperately seeks something -  anything - that will keep him here. 

Violet Markey. She is struggling to make it through each day without her sister.  She is counting down the days until graduation when she can get out of her town and begin to live again, away from the memories and the pain.  

And, then Finch and Violet meet.  On the ledge of the bell tower at school. One rescues the other, and a relationship begins that changes everyone's' lives forever.  

ThoughtsAll the Bright Places grabs you from page 1 and never lets go.  Teens Finch and Violet are both seriously struggling.  Finch is an outsider.  Getting up, making it through the day, and finding a reason to do it again the next is a constant challenge.  Violet's struggle is new.  It began when her sister died in a car accident in which Violet was a passenger and survived.  Everyone wants her to start moving on, getting back into life.  But she just can't do it.  Being a sole survivor is incredibly difficult, and Violet is consumed by guilt.  When the two meet, both find a kindred spirit that neither expected, but is exactly who both need. 

This powerful novel and these afflicted characters are unforgettable.  Inspired from events from her own high school experience, Jennifer Niven tells a story that is gripping, honest, and completely heart-breaking.  It explores these teens' struggle to truly live as well as navigating difficult family relationships and intense first love.  It inspires readers to look for the bright places in their lives and to also look for those around them who might be silently suffering.  Get your tissues (and your Post-its!) ready. This one will touch your heart forever.  

Read All the Bright Places if you ... 
  • enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, Eleanor and Park, Thirteen Reasons Why or If I Stay 
  • have lost someone close to you
  • sometimes feel lost - or like a "weary traveler" - in this world
  • are a tortured soul or commiserate with those who are
  • you remember (or dream of!) your first true love
Click here to read more about All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven, and her critically-acclaimed books published for adults. 

Note: The movie rights of All the Bright Places have already been sold, and Elle Fanning has been cast to play Violet!  



I created a wall of some of my bright places and was honored that author Jennifer Niven added it to her blog!  :) 


8.07.2014

Jillicious Reading: To All the Boys I've Loved Before

To All The Boys I've Loved Before
by Jenny Han

Summary:  Lara Jean has never really dated.  But, she has loved several boys who, unknowingly, have broken her heart.  She writes to each, pouring out her soul in letters that she never mails; all notes are kept safely in a hatbox under her bed.  Until one day the secret letters are mysteriously mailed.  Suddenly, eyes that were never meant to see the letters are exactly the ones who receive them. Overnight Lara Jean's very private love life becomes very public, and she is forced to deal with the mess. 

Thoughts:  This is a delicious novel, and I just gobbled it up.  It is a romance, but it also tackles important themes of family relationships, loss, and identity with the perfect combination of depth and humor. 

Lara Jean is the middle daughter of three who lost their mother at a young age.  The oldest, Margot, is going away to college and the family is dealing with this change.  Skilled author Jenny Han explores the complicated relationships of the sisters - their strong bond as they care for each other and their father, but also the added pressures they put on one another in the absence of their mother.  

The debacle of the mailed letters is a creative premise.  It brings different characters into Lara Jean's life, forces her to face her feelings, and allows her to begin to realize who she really is.  Han works it all adeptly, not bringing in too many past loves, and perfectly pacing the chaos with character development and self-discovery.  The boys are believable, intriguing characters, full of personality and surprises. The youngest sister, Kitty, brings additional humor and heart to the story.  The result is a delightful novel that explores what happens when one is faced with the truth and new possibilities. 

Read To All the Boys I've Loved Before if you ... 
  • enjoyed Jenny Han's previous writing
  • like books by Stephanie Perkins or Lindsey Leavitt
  • have ever had a secret crush
  • have a sister 
  • have a complicated family relationship 
  • wonder what would happen if your private thoughts were made public! Gasp!
Click here to read more about the hilarious Jenny Han, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, and her other novels.  

SPOILER ALERT:  Ms. Han has already announced that there will be a sequel, P.S. I Still Love You. (Thank goodness!!)   I can hardly wait, and, judging from the Good Reads page, I am not the only one.  Many other fans are feeling equally tortured having to wait until 2015 for the story to continue!  But don't visit the page until you've finished the first novel.  :) 

8.06.2014

Jillicious Reading: The Winner's Curse

The Winner's Curse
by Marie Rutkoski

Summary: Kestrel is the daughter of the general, part of the aristocracy.  She is used to winning and to getting what she wants.  On a whim, she purchases a slave, Arin, in an auction.  It is not long before he starts to change the way Kestrel thinks, the way she sees the world, the way she feels about everything.  But Arin is not what he seems.   

Thoughts: The Winner's Curse is a completely enthralling novel. It pulled me in from the very beginning because of its originality.... a world of indulgent aristocrats, a conquered people-turned-slaves, and a society that values military strategy and prowess in combat over the arts.  

Kestrel is passionate about music, but it is not seen as a worthy pursuit of the upper class.  Her father insists that she join the military or get married, so she looks for ways to exert control in her life.  This is quickly lost when her world is turned upside down.  The novel is lush and intoxicating, pulling the reader into a world of high society, political intrigue, secrets, forbidden love, and betrayal.  Kestrel and Arin are complex, well-developed characters, both full of surprises.  I look forward to their continued story in the next two books of the trilogy.                

Read The Winner's Curse if you ...
  • like books that pull you into a completely different, fully imagined new world
  • liked the Incarceron series by Catherine Fisher, the Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo or For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
  • look for atmospheric novels with a unique feel
  • enjoy stories with unexpected plot twists and turns
  • love stories of star-crossed love!  :)
Click here to read more about The Winner's Trilogy and author Marie Rutkoski. 

7.15.2014

Jillicious Reading: Beach Reads

Beaches, summer, romance ...  all things I love and all elements of a good beach read.  Here are a few I enjoyed this summer while sunning at the beach ....   :)  



Nantucket Blue
by Leila Howland

Summary:  Cricket is elated when her best friend Jules asks her to spend the summer on Nantucket with her family.  Cricket adores the Claytons and is thrilled about the possibilities of the months ahead ... particularly since her longtime crush Jay Logan will also be summering on the island. But an unexpected tragedy changes everyone's plans. Cricket is still determined to spend her summer on Nantucket; but when she gets there, nothing turns out like she planned.

Thoughts: I must start by saying that I love Nantucket.  The grey shingled houses, the bursting blue hydrangea, the idyllic main street, lobster rolls ... it's like a postcard come to life.  I wish I could afford to summer there myself!  So, I was already excited about this book just because of the setting. And, author Leila Howland does an incredible job recreating this magical place, taking the reader right to the
quaint streets and sandy shores of Nantucket.  

But, I was surprised by the story.  It's a summer romance, but has a lot more depth and plot development than I expected.  I fell in love with the interesting cast of characters including Cricket, her family, and the many people she meets on the island.  The novel explores the challenges of friendship, family relationships, loss, and self-discovery in addition to navigating first love. I really enjoyed this book and immediately treated myself to the juicy sequel, Nantucket Red!   

I recommend the book duo to anyone looking for good beach reads, hoping to be transported to a picturesque summer town, or seeking a compelling story about figuring out who you are and who you really belong with in the world.  
  







Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend
by Katie Finn


Summary: Gemma is looking forward to the summer ahead and having time to spend with her perfect boyfriend, Teddy.  But when Teddy shocks her with a sudden breakup, she is devastated. Instead of traveling across the world with him, she ends up in the Hamptons with her father. The Hamptons is an amazing destination, to be sure, but it's also the place where Gemma must face her past and a friend she betrayed years ago. She wants to make things right; but a case of mistaken identity, an unforgettable, cute boy on the train, and the effort of keeping up a charade creates one complicated summer.


Thoughts: As soon as I heard Katie Finn is another pen name for author Morgan Matson, I was totally in.  I loved Matson's Second Chance Summer and was eager to try another novel
Photo: Long Island CVB
by her.  I also liked that this story was set in the Hamptons; it sounded like the perfect book for my beach bag! 


After I started, though, I wasn't sure about the mistaken identity storyline.  I don't always like excessive hijinks.  ;)  But, I did like the characters and felt the story had heart and promise.  Gemma is a funny, engaging character.  Nothing goes her way, and although her case is extreme, I think we can all relate to those times when things seem to be falling apart around us.  

I am really glad I stuck with the novel.  It's humorous, takes an interesting turn, and leaves the reader eager for the next book in the series, Revenge, Ice Cream, and Other Things Best Served Cold (which comes out next spring).    
  
The author's Second Chance Summer is also a summer story, but it's a heavier drama dealing with intense loss and grief as well as finding love.  Although lighter, Broken Hearts, Fences, and Others Things to Mend does explore important themes of friendship, trust, betrayal, and family relationships.  I would recommend it to someone looking for a fun summer read, someone who can relate to having made mistakes and living with regrets, or someone looking for a book with humor and heart. 

7.07.2014

Jillicious Desserts: Recent Adult Reads

It's summer!  Time to sleep in, sit in the sun, catch up on home projects, prepare for next year, and read, read, read!  The summer is also the time I allow myself to indulge in a few adult books.  Here some recent reads:



The Pink Suit
by Nicole Mary Kelby 

The Pink Suit  is based on the story behind the iconic pink suit Jacqueline Kennedy wore that fateful day in Dallas in 1963.  This unforgettable ensemble and many others from "The Wife's" wardrobe came from Chez Ninon, an exclusive New York  boutique which specialized in creating French-inspired designs for American royalty.  The book incorporates factual information into a fictionalized tale about all those involved in the creation of the suit - from the President who ordered the suit for the First Lady to Coco Chanel who designed it to the eclectic ladies who ran Chez Ninon to Kate, the talented seamstress who labored over every stitch and pleat to craft the perfect pieces.  
 
This is a fascinating tale of fashion, politics, New York City, and love.  It focuses mostly on the seamstress Kate, which I didn't expect, but really enjoyed.  The novel transports the reader into 1960s NYC as experienced by an Irish immigrant.  Kate lives in an Irish neighborhood and has captured the attention of Patrick the local butcher.  But, her world is quite different than his as she selects fabrics, perfects stitches, and imagines but never attends the events for which her designs are created.  The Pink Suit is a unique, captivating novel that takes readers behind-the-scenes of a fashion boutique and of an unforgettable moment of history.      




The One and Only
by Emily Giffin 


The One and Only is the story of Shea Rigsby, a 33-year-old avid football fan who has spent her whole life in the small town of Walker, Texas supporting and then working for her beloved college football team.  The novel opens at the funeral of the wife of the football team's beloved coach and mother of Shea's best friend Lucy.  In light of this tragedy, Shea begins to question the choices she has made and must face her deepest desires.  

I was drawn to this book because of the subject & setting - college football in a small Texas town. It isn't a top pick, but I did like the football and all of the Dallas references (the small town is outside of Dallas), including The Ticket (my favorite radio station), Highland Park HS (the high school in my school district), and Mi Cocina (my favorite Mexican restaurant).  :) 





Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes  

Louisa is from a working class family and has never thought much beyond her small British town.  She lives an ordinary life and enjoys her simple job in a local cafe.  But when her boss has to let go, her life is shaken up, and she is suddenly in desperate need of a job.  She finds work caring for Will Traynor, a highly successful man who lived his life on the edge until a paralyzing accident confined him to a wheelchair.  Will is bitter and depressed.  Louisa isn't sure she can make it a day in this new situation, but she needs the money and is out of options.  Slowly things start to thaw between her and Will, and he begins to show her a world beyond their town, a world she never expected. 

I adored this book. Louisa is funny, original and endearing.  She lives in the shadow of her sister and has settled into the life and family role that she believes she is fit to play.  But gradually, she starts to wonder and to dream.  

Me Before You is an excellent novel. It breaks your heart and also inspires you to live every moment to the fullest. Read it, and be sure to have a box of tissue nearby.       

7.03.2014

Caldecott!

May 2 was the longest day of my life.  I knew all of the candidates on the Caldecott ballot would be contacted at some point to learn if they had been elected (or not).  I kept the phone with me all day awaiting the call and praying for good news.  Friends were texting, some were also awaiting election results, others were just encouraging me as I waited.   

The call finally came that afternoon, and it was Dan Bostrom, the ALSC Marketing Manager.  He asked how my day was going and then said, "I have some news that's going to make it even better."  I almost jumped out of my skin. I had been elected!  I squealed and danced all through the library!  


Serving on the Caldecott Committee has been a dream of mine for many, many years ... ever since I started sharing picture books with students.  I love art and words and marvel at the way the two come together so exquisitely in this format.  The privilege of serving on this committee is an honor and a responsibility I will not take lightly.  It will be hard work, but I look forward to the reading, evaluation, discussions,  debates, and challenge of working with a group to select one medal winner.  

This weekend at the ALA Annual Conference I was able to attend a lovely Random House cocktail party celebrating illustrators Chris Appelhans, Marc Brown, Brian Floca, Mary GrandPre, and Kevin Hawkes.  Hearing these talented artists talk about their work filled my heart and reaffirmed my love for illustration and the power of the picture book.  (This basically happens every time I hear an author or illustrator speak or read a picture book!)  My heart swelled knowing that I will play a small part in making picture book history. 

Thank you to all the ALSC members who voted for me and gave me this special opportunity.  I can't wait to get started!

3.23.2014

Jillicious Reading: Grandmaster

Grandmaster
by David Klass

Summary: Freshman Daniel hasn't really found his place at school.  He doesn't seem to fit in anywhere and just tries to fly under the radar.  A mediocre player on the team's prestigious chess club, Daniel is surprised to be asked by the two senior co-captains to join them and their fathers at a weekend father-son tournament.  To his further amazement, Daniel then learns the truth. His father - a reserved, accountant - was actually a chess prodigy at the age of 16 and earned the ranking of Grandmaster.  When his father agrees to return to the game 30 years later and accompany Daniel to the tournament, the six man team is in for a weekend none of them expected.

Thoughts: Grandmaster is a fast-paced, compelling novel that keeps the reader engaged like a spy thriller or intense sports match.  I am not a chess player, and I was completely on the edge of my seat during the tournament scenes.  The book includes enough chess to satisfy those who do play, but not too much to overwhelm the novice or non-player.  What keeps the story captivating is the characters.  They are interesting, flawed and believable.  Main character Daniel is a likeable kid, and readers can relate to his desire to fit in at school.  His father is also an interesting character as he faces his past demons and reveals his former life to his son.  I really enjoyed the development of the relationship between these two as Daniel learns more about his father and starts to reorder his priorities.  I also liked the addition of Liu, a spunky girl who competes with her mother.  She brings out a different side of Daniel and adds some pluck and humor to the story.  If you see Grandmaster and expect it to be a boring book about chess, you would be grandly mistaken. 

Read Grandmaster if you  ...
  • like chess
  • don't like chess
  • enjoy sports fiction with front-row-feeling scenes that pull you into the action and keep you on the edge of your seat
  • look for young adult literature with interesting teen and adult characters 

3.17.2014

Jillicious Healthy Bites: True Stories from the Holocaust

Stories from the Jewish Holocaust during WW II continue to captivate readers.  As difficult as it is to read about the depths of human evil reached during this time, it is also incredibly inspiring to read of those who held onto hope in horrific circumstances and ultimately survived to tell their story.  It is also so vitally important to read these narratives and remember how simply and subtly these dreadfully evil initiatives began.  

Below are three 2013 releases, two nonfiction and one fiction based on a true story, that tell the hopeful, heroic stories that came from this time of persecution: 


Odette's Secrets
by Maryann MacDonald

Odette's Secrets tells the story of a young Jewish girl living in Paris during the Nazi occupation.  Her father joins the French army, her mother joins the Resistance, and Odette is sent to the French countryside for safety.   

Throughout the frightening time, young Odette is both terrified and confused.  She fears the soldiers, worries about her father, and runs from those who bully her for her yellow star.  She also wonders about her Polish roots, her Jewish faith, and later the Christian values of the foster family that cares for her while she seeks refuge in the country.  She gets used to silently observing, keeping secrets, and hiding in plain sight.  

I never thought of what these young people must have endured as they tried to make sense of the terrifying world around them as well as their own identity.  And what extremes their parents went to for their protection!  This moving novel also shows what the survivors faced when they triumphed over their persecutors, but then tried to return to their homes and to their former lives.

Author Maryann MacDonald was deeply moved by Odette's story and asked her family permission to share her experience in a book for children.  She ultimately chose to tell the story as a first person novel-in-verse instead of a factual biography to allow a more intimate view into the young poet-to-be's thoughts and feelings.  The result is a accessible, personal narrative that immediately pulls the reader into Paris in 1942 and provides another perspective from this time.
Odette's Secrets is a selection on the 2014-2015 Texas Bluebonnet List.

 
The Boy on the Wooden Box 
by Leon Leyson

Leon Leyson was the youngest survivor on what became the world famous "Schindler's List." This memoir tells how Leyson's life went from a happy childhood to a terrible nightmare at the hand of the Nazis and their occupation of his Polish homeland.  Leon's family was forced to move to the Krakow ghetto, but through determination, luck, and ultimately the attention of the man named Oskar Schindler,  Leon, his parents and a few of his siblings' avoided placement in the horrific concentration camps. 

Constructed from Leyson's personal notes and speeches, The Boy on the Wooden Box tells of how he survived in Schindler's factory with almost nothing to eat but holding onto hope and believing in Oskar Schindler, who became his lifelong hero.  Leyson tale's is honest and reflective, but told without bitterness and hatred.  It is a powerful, moving memoir that celebrates the risks taken and the perseverance necessary to survive during this time of persecution.

 The Boy on the Wooden Box is a title on the 2014 Texas Lone Star Reading List.




The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi
by Neal Bascomb

After WWII ended, one of the highest ranking Nazi officers, Adolf Eichmann, vanished.  Believed to have eradicated over 700,000 Jews from Hungary and to have been responsible for millions of Jewish deaths, Eichmann was a prime war criminal to be brought to justice; but he had not been seen or heard of in years. Until a clue finally surfaces from a blind Argentinean man and his teenage daughter.  Then the manhunt begins. 

The Nazi Hunters tells the riveting true story of how the Eichmann case went from a desire to find the man to promising leads to dead ends to the forming of an elite team of Israeli spies to plan and execute an incredible capture.  This team - all of whom had been directly affected somehow by Eichmann's crimes - would have to secretly enter Argentina, capture Eichmann, and smuggle him out of the country and return him safely to Israel so he could be brought to justice on Israeli soil.   

Neal Bascomb has crafted a work of narrative nonfiction that expertly provides historical facts and reads like a spy novel.  I was on the edge of my seat reading this book!  It is truly fascinating.  The author does an outstanding job of introducing the young, powerful Eichmann, later showing what he has become during his years in hiding and his views of his actions, and finally showing what an impact the time with Eichmann has on his captors.  Bascomb also effectively weaves in the story of an Auschwitz survivor, Zeev Sapir. The reader meets him early in the book when he has an encounter with Eichmann; later Sapir has a chance to testify against Eichmann.  It's quite powerful to see one survivor get to face his tormenter and get to share his story with the world.  Photographs and documents are included throughout the book that add intrigue and authenticity to the captivating account. 

This is a must-read for anyone interested in WWII, Jewish and Holocaust history, narrative nonfiction, and/or page-turning tales of spying and intrigue.          

The Nazi Hunters is a title on the 2014 TAYSHAS Reading List

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