Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Review: Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed The World

Our Pearl Harbor Day book review is of Franklin and Winston:  A Christmas That Changed the World by Douglas Wood.  This book is not specifically about Pearl Harbor, but it is about what happened just afterwards, when English Prime Minister Winston Churchill took the somewhat perilous boat trip overseas to spend Christmas 1941 in the nearly-declared entrant into World War II, the United States.  Despite the time it took to sail across the ocean, the book implies it was time well spent because it solidified the relationship between the two countries that would head up the eventually defeat of both Hitler and the Japanese.

This is a picture book, which I've said in previous posts that I think can be very effective for middle schoolers, even thought usually aimed for a younger audience.   The story in this book is definitely a bit young for middle schoolers.  However, I think it can be appropriate for this age group as "color" about World War II.  That is, it gives a good sense of the two men--US President Franklin Roosevelt and English Prime Minister Winston Churchill--and the relationship they forged.  It has a number of personal stories, which I think is great because I always believe it is important for students to see this figures as real people, not just heroes in a book or on a test.  And it makes students think about how it used to be...when leaders took days or weeks to get together and talk, when we are so used to instant communications.

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