Every Sunday, we share the books that have hunted us down and found their way into our hearts and hands. Today is extra special as we are launching our new reading theme this July and August: Scarred Souls and Bloodstained Memories: Tales of War and Poetry, Refuge and Peace.
Essentially, we are looking for books that have the following themes:
- Anything about war: soldiers and war veterans, PTSD experienced by returning soldiers – fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, comics, picturebooks, YA/MG, adult novels
- Conflict and conflict resolution – could be animal stories that demonstrate conflict; these may be allegorical titles that touch on much bigger concepts such as war and peace
- Peace-keeping, love, brotherhood, goodwill to men and women
- Poetry books – preferably war-themed as well, but we are also open to looking at picture book biographies on poets and their lives
- Refugees and their experiences of displacement as caused by war and relocation
As we are social scientists, we have done our research and looked at various booklists available on the internet. One such valuable resource is Marjorie Coughlan’s piece on PaperTigers entitled: Escaping Conflict, Seeking Peace: Picture books that relate refugee stories, and their importance. Beautifully written. Then, there is Cynthia Leitich Smith’s valuable list of resources on war and peace in children’s literature. I am forever grateful that we have such amazing libraries here in Singapore that allowed me to borrow quite a number of books for our current reading theme. Here they are.
Library Finds: Picturebooks on War and Poetry, Refuge and Peace
The General by Janet Charters and illustrated by Michael Foreman, And the Soldiers Sang by J. Patrick Lewis and Gary Kelley.
War Game: The Legendary Story of the First World War Football Match by Michael Foreman.
How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz, The Bicycle a book project by Colin Thompson.
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith, The Fathers are coming home by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Stephen Savage.
The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart and pictures by David Small, My Name is Sangoel by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed and illustrations by Catherine Stock.
Lasso the Wind: Aurelia’s Verses and Other Poems by George Elliott Clarke and illustrations by Susan Tooke, Lines in the Sand: New Writing on War and Peace edited by Mary Hoffman and illustrations by Rhiannon Lassiter.
Picturebook Biographies on Poets
My Uncle Emily by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter, Emily by Michael Bedard and pictures by Barbara Cooney.