The Greatest Resistance Stories

| By Debra Kirby |

In honor of Holocaust Month, which is observed in the United States in April, I’m sharing a few of my current reads and older favorites related to World War II resistance groups and individuals. With a background like mine—a lifelong interest in World War II history, French and Polish grandparents, and a tendency toward activism—stories about WWII resistance in Europe have long attracted my interest. Below are a few of my current and longtime favorites, as well as recommendations on which Gale databases you can visit to learn more about WWII resistance.

 Recent Nonfiction Favorites:

The Resistance, 1940: An Anthology of Writings from the French Underground translated and annotated by Charles B. Potter (2016). This fascinating first person accounting of four French Resistance fighters, including national heroes Jean Moulin and Germaine Tillion, would make an excellent primary source student resource.

The Zoo Keeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman (2007) chronicles the experiences of Polish citizens Antonina and Jan Zabinski and their sheltering of Jews on the grounds of the Warsaw Zoo. A movie based on the book and starring Jessica Chastain premiered in Warsaw in early March.

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The Biggest Large Print Myths Busted!

Thorndike Large Print Books Same Size!

Spoiler Alert: The large print format offers benefits for people under the age of 60 with perfectly good eyesight.

Have you ever been so good at something you’ve found yourself pigeonholed? Being typecast can feel like a mixed blessing—your claim to fame shines bright, creating the shadow in which your other great qualities hide. If large print books were people, they would feel this acutely.

No doubt, large print books are a well-known solution for visually impaired readers, and those readers are typically seniors. Unfortunately for large print, being so good at solving this one problem for this one audience has led to a narrow, and sometimes inaccurate view of the usefulness of the format overall.

We’d love to enlist the expert MythBusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman to explore the issue in detail, but if you’ve ever seen the Discovery Channel show, you know their mythbusting process tends to involve blowing things up, and we’d hate to see our beloved books so abused.

So, without the pyrotechnics, here are the biggest large print myths: BUSTED!

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Explore Histories of Everyday Life in Totalitarian Regimes through first-hand accounts and fictional works from the twentieth century.

Posted on February 22, 2016

 

Guided by a five-person advisory board of distinguished scholars, Histories of Everyday Life in Totalitarian Regimes spans multiple disciplines, including history, literature and language.  Examine what life was like during the twentieth century under totalitarian rule. This set holds a wealth of information for various college courses and also high school teachers encouraging the analysis of primary and secondary sources.

Learn more about Histories of Everyday Life in Totalitarian Regimes with Editor-in-chief Peter Fritzsche, PhD., as he introduces the series’ distinctive approach.

 

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Christmas Fiction: A New Trend?

Posted on December 1, 2015

By Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly

It seems like there are more fiction authors than ever who are publishing Christmas titles. Many can be categorized as “women’s fiction,” but there are a number of Christmas crime books as well. Why is it so popular (and lucrative) to write a Christmas novel? Is this a new trend or simply a tradition?

Christmas novels have been around since roughly Charles Dickens’ time. Sir Walter Scott wrote the Christmas poem “Christmas in the Olden Time” (1904) and William Sandys’ Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern (1833) are examples of Christmas titles that pre-date Dickens, but A Christmas Carol by Dickens was among the first Christmas titles in the form of what we consider a “novel” today. Dickens felt that the best way to educate people about poverty and social injustice was through an emotional, touching Christmas story, rather than through political pamphlets. He wanted people to be kind and generous toward one another, and used “the spirit of Christmas” to make his point (1).

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Booklist Webinar: Best Practices for Large Print

Join Booklist and Thorndike Press for this free, hour-long webinar on building successful large-print collections. Speakers will include Nancy Pearl, Nora Rawlinson (EarlyWord), Tamara Kraus (Hickory County Public Library, NC), and Lisa Joyce (Portland Library, ME). Don’t miss this valuable program, featuring advice on all things large print: collection-development trends, reading group tips, and best … Read more…

Encourage Literacy with NaNoWriMo!

Posted on November 5, 2015
By Anne Nagrant, Customer Success Manager

I enjoy the act of writing, and I used to write really long essays in college, but I’ve never tackled a major project like writing an entire novel. It seems so daunting. I think I might have trouble staying motivated long enough to really make progress. Luckily for people like me, November brings us NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)!

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Catch a Rising Literary Star

Posted on October 29, 2015

These new authors are creating a buzz

Once upon a time, a young thespian named Will set his quill to paper and wrote a play. The word is, he did pretty well…becoming the most beloved playwright and poet of all time.

A few years later, a sheltered young woman living in the country wrote stories to amuse her family. Ms. Jane Austen also met with great success, we’re told.

Every great author started somewhere – by taking the first step and writing a first work. Today, the literary world is bursting with new talent. And Thorndike can help you bring promising new authors to your power readers – many of whom enjoy reading large print for ease and enhanced comprehension.

Here’s a sampling of first novels by promising new authors now available in large print from Thorndike Press.

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Thorndike Press Staff Recommendation

Posted on October 26, 2015

Thorndike Press wouldn’t be the leading Large Print publisher if it weren’t for our staff. We are passionate about what we do — which is providing the best overall experience we can for our customers and readers. Additionally, at Thorndike Press we put the “V” in voracious when it comes to reading and loving books!

AuthorspicSecret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz is the story of two childhood friends, Madeline and Daphne, who experienced a terrifying attack and have done their best to move on with their lives. Madeline runs a chain of luxury hotels and Daphne is a designer. But the secret that they share reunites them as adults and they journey back to a small island off the coast of Seattle, the site of their childhood trauma. Using Nancy Pearl’s Readers Advisory methodology, let me tell you about the doorways that I found most appealing. I was drawn to the character of Madeline, a successful career woman who struggles with intimacy and lost track of her childhood friend.

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Fall into Literary Genre Fiction

By Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly

Literary fiction “tends to focus on complex issues and the beauty of the writing itself,” according to the Writer’s Relief Staff at the Huffington Post (1). This is a great definition, and makes a distinction between literary fiction and mainstream or “popular” fiction, which is driven more by plot and characters than by insight or clever use of language.  It seems short sighted to think that literary writing falls only outside of genre fiction, though. There are plenty of literary mysteries, literary science fiction novels, and even literary graphic novels. I’d like to suggest that literary fiction can, in fact, fall into a variety of genres and still hold true to the definition above.

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Readers’ Advisory: Banned Books Week, Sept. 27 – Oct 3, 2014

Banned Books Week

By Holly Hibner and Mary Kelly

Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read. It began in 1982, when there was a sudden uptick in the number of books being challenged in schools and libraries. An astounding number of challenges happen each year (307 reported in 2013, according to the Office of Intellectual Freedom!), and Banned Books Week is a way to celebrate the value of open access to information (1). It is important to point out that of those 307 challenges, few of them were actually banned. The diligence of teachers, librarians, and informed citizens ensured the freedom to read in most situations.

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