The Tattooist of Auschwitz

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for more than two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov’s experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions. 

 

I quite enjoy historical books.  It is always interesting to see things from the point of view of people who lived during the time.  This book does not disappoint. It sets out the hardships endured, the cruelty encountered but it also shows how the prisoners were able to keep a flicker of hope alive.  A first hand accounting of the life (good and bad) of a prisoner tasked with tattooing new prisoners. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Exciting New Reads

Backlash – Sarah Darer Littman

 

Gracefully Grayson – Ami Polonsky

 

Endangered – Eliot Schrefer

 

 

 

 

Sarah’s Key – Tatiana de Rosnay

 

The Poet X – Elizabeth Acevedo

 

Never Quit – Jimmy Settle/Don Rearden

 

 

 

 

Ugly – Robert Hoge

 

Craig & Fred – Craig Grossi

 

When Elephants Fly – Nancy Richardson Fischer

 

 

The Handmaid’s Tale graphic novel

Everything Handmaids wear is red: the colour of blood, which defines us.

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships. She serves in the household of the Commander and his wife, and under the new social order she has only one purpose: once a month, she must lie on her back and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if they are fertile. But Offred remembers the years before Gilead, when she was an independent woman who had a job, a family, and a name of her own. Now, her memories and her will to survive are acts of rebellion.

I read this novel many years ago which definitely helped to understand this graphic novel.  I’m not sure how much one would really understand of this book without the background provided in the novel.   This book illustrates a very different world from what we live in, the extreme that could happen. Did I enjoy it – no. I didn’t enjoy the book the first time and the graphic novel did not change my opinion.  Maybe this is because it goes against everything that I believe the world should be. I believe in equality, all people being equal, and the world depicted in this book is the polar opposite.

Two Can Keep a Secret

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.  The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

I enjoy a good psychological thriller so this book fit the bill.  This book has a number of twists and turns which keep the reader guessing as to who done it.  There are a few under stories going on as well but they fit well with the main mystery. I highly recommend this book to all readers.

So Close to the Finish Line

The Learning Commons is soooo close to being completely finished.  There are some small finishing items to be completed and then the addition of furniture.  I’ve taken to mapping furniture out on the floor to see how it fits…..

I can’t deny I have had some very interesting looks thrown my way.  Not everyone is embracing my “imaginary” furniture but rest assured “real” furniture has been ordered and soon there will be a very comfortable seating area to be enjoyed by everyone.

Moving In

When we left in June the Learning Commons was still just a big construction site, but August 19 brought moving day.  Attached are a couple of pictures of my new desk as well as a picture of the construction zone that I moved into.  All the books have been moved and shelved, not necessarily in order, but they are here.  Construction is still not quite finished but we are getting there and it will be beautiful when it is all done.

Modernization Update

Today is the last day of the 2018-19 school year so I thought I would post one last picture of the Learning Commons modernization process.  Things are coming along slowly but we can see the end and it is going to look awesome.  So hopefully all will be completed when I come back at the end of August.

June 2019

HIT List 2018-19 Finale

The final prize draws were held on Wednesday, June 5.  All participating students were awarded Big Mac and Taco Time coupons.  Draws were made for Pita Pit coupons, Tim Horton’s $5 Gift Cards, $25 Mall Gift Cards, Cineplex 2 for 1, Mr. E’s Solve-It-Torium, Mavericks tickets, Boston Pizza $5 Gift Cards, Burger King $10 Gift Card and Hooplas entry passes.  The Grand Prizes were a Kindle e-reader won by Caitlin Watson and a Chromebook won by Max Sept.  We would like to thank all of our sponsors this year – Medicine Hat Tigers Hockey Club Ltd., Burger King, Pancotto Enterprises Ltd. (McDonald’s), Pita Pit, Booster Juice, Mr. E’s Solve-It-Torium, Boston Pizza, EIWM Holdings (Tim Horton’s), EBHS Chess Club, Mavericks Baseball Club and Hooplas Family Entertainment Center.  Congratulations to all the participants.  Grade 10 and 11 students stay tuned for HIT List 2019-2020 with more great books to read and more great prizes to be won.

Allegedly

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.  Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

This is a fantastic book about a young girl who allegedly commits a crime. We follow her tumultuous life in a group home and learn of the struggles she had as a child. The characters are so well developed that you can’t help but be drawn in and root for Mary.  But at the end you really have to wonder, did she…..

New Reads at the Lodge

 

Poe: Stories and Poems

a graphic novel adaptation – Gareth Hinds

 

What They Don’t Know

– Nicole Maggi

 

The Girl in the Locked Room

– Mary Downing Hahn

 

 

 

Now is Everything

– Amy Giles

 

The Trail

– Meika Hashimoto

 

The Skin I’m In

– Sharon G. Flake

 

 

 

Missing Pieces

– Carly Anne West

 

Waking Nightmare

– Carly Anne West

 

Wait Till Helen Comes

– Mary Down Hahn