Friday, September 04, 2009

Williams and Winslow

Nearing the end of the alphabet, fiction-wise! Laura William's Behind the Bedroom Wall was a bit different for a Holocaust story, because the main character, Korinna, was involved in the Hitler youth. She is not entirely comfortable with the ill-treatment of Jews in her neighborhood, but buys the party line that the Jews are ruining Germany. When she finds out that her parents have a Jewish mother and daughter hiding behind the wall in her bedroom, she knows she should turn in her parents, but also knows that they will be shot as traitors. She learns to like the people who are dependent on her family for her survival, and grows as a person. A good addition to a collection if your students study the Holocaust, although the poor quality illustrations did not add anything to this book for me.

Joan Winslow's Romance is a Riot was published the year I graduated from high school, 1983. I am constantly amazed at how truly bad the covers on some of the books were. This was checked out frequently until 1992, and only a few times since. It's not a bad story, but clearly "high school" at the time, because a little drinking occurs. Ann's boyfriend doesn't want her to break up with him, and goes a bit nuts. Today we would call him a stalker, or send him to a psychiatrist. Ann is also dealing with her parents' separation (apparently a big topic of YA lit in the '80s), and other facets of high school life. I got a bit distracted by the brief wardrobe descriptions, and current students will wonder why she wore so many skirts. There are some girls to whom I will pitch this one, but it may just be too dated. It would be like me checking out a book from 1951 when I was in middle school. Hmmm.

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