Tag Archives: Nazis

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History: The Story of the Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel. January 29, 2019. Scholastic Nonfiction, 333 p. ISBN: 9781338251197.  Int Lvl: YA; Rdg Lvl: YA; Lexile: 1200.

Robert M. Edsel brings the story of his #1 NYT bestseller for adults The Monuments Mento young readers for the first time in this dynamic, narrative nonfiction project packed with photos.

Robert M. Edsel, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Monuments Men, brings this story to young readers for the first time in a sweeping, dynamic adventure detailing history’s greatest treasure hunt.

As the most destructive war in history ravaged Europe, many of the world’s most cherished cultural objects were in harm’s way. The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History recounts the astonishing true story of 11 men and one woman who risked their lives amidst the bloodshed of World War II to preserve churches, libraries, monuments, and works of art that for centuries defined the heritage of Western civilization. As the war raged, these American and British volunteers — museum curators, art scholars and educators, architects, archivists, and artists, known as the Monuments Men — found themselves in a desperate race against time to locate and save the many priceless treasures and works of art stolen by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Potentially Sensitive Areas: Harsh realities of war

 

Book Trailer

Reviews

Booklist starred (October 15, 2018 (Vol. 115, No. 4))
Grades 7-12. While Adolf Hitler and his Nazi officers were organizing the genocide of Jews, they also orchestrated the looting of millions of pieces of art and culturally significant items from museums, churches, and private collections throughout Europe. Although dubbed the Monuments Men, about 350 men and women from 14 nations volunteered in the Allied armies’ Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Program from 1943 to 1951 to help preserve a shared cultural heritage. In this young readers edition of The Monuments Men (2009), Edsel focuses on 10 Monuments Men and Rose Valland, an art historian and member of the French Resistance. With precise details, incredible adventure, and mounting intensity, the author describes the responsibilities of these artists, architects, curators, and historians. Arriving in damaged cities, they tried to salvage important documents, art, and buildings. Their biggest role, however, was as art detectives endeavoring to locate the Nazi’s stash of hidden treasure, while racing against time. Although they didn’t serve on the front lines, booby traps, snipers, and other dangers made their mission risky—and even deadly. Complemented by rarely seen images of WWII, these amazing stories from history not only depict true heroes but also encourage readers to question the value of art throughout humanity and civilization. Monumental, indeed.

Kirkus Reviews (October 1, 2018)
During World War II, a team of so-called Monuments Men was formed to search for and recover the enormous collection of art treasures that Hitler and his minions looted from museums, churches, and private collections all across Europe. The tale is focused on a small, although representative, number of the approximately 350 men (and women) who served up until 1951, locating hoards of some of the world’s best loved and most culturally significant art, much of it stashed in damp tunnels scattered across Germany. Edsel’s backstories of the 10 Monuments Men covered in the tale help breathe life into these scholarly—and highly driven—men. Although the war is presented mostly as a backdrop to their energetic detective work, enough information on the struggle is included to keep the quest in context and to remind readers that these unlikely soldiers were often in peril. Based primarily upon his adult work The Monuments Men (2009) along with two others on the same subject (Rescuing Da Vinci, 2006; Saving Italy, 2013), Edsel’s effort for younger readers is still lengthy. Numerous well-placed photographs (many more than in the adult version) are included and appear on most pages. Although the book is richly engaging and highly informative, its audience may be limited to those readers who already have some awareness of the extent of Nazi thievery and the nearly inconceivable danger the art was placed in. Figures profiled all seem to be white. Excellent backmatter is included. A high-interest work on an important topic. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

About the Author

Robert M. Edsel is the best-selling author of Saving ItalyThe Monuments Men and Rescuing da Vinci and co-producer of the award-winning documentary film The Rape of Europa. Edsel is also the founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation, a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, and a trustee at the National WWII Museum. After living in Florence for five years, he now resides in Dallas, Texas.

Her website is www.monumentsmenfoundation.org

Teacher Resources

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History Educator’s Guide

Around the Web

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History on Amazon

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History on Barnes and Noble

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History on Goodreads

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History on LibraryThing

The Greatest Treasure Hunt in History Publisher Page

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin. November 1, 2016. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 496 p. ISBN: 9780316405157.  Int Lvl: YA; Rdg Lvl: YA; Lexile: 750.

There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.

For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: The world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But in the midst of the chaos, Yael’s past and future collide when she comes face-to-face with a ghost from her past, and a spark with a fellow rider begins to grow into something more. Dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all–how far can you go for the ones you love?

Sequel to: Wolf to Wolf

Potentially Sensitive Areas: Mild language; Violence; Smoking; The Holocaust

 

Reviews

Booklist starred (September 1, 2016 (Vol. 113, No. 1))
Grades 9-12. Yael’s job was supposed to be straightforward: join the Axis Tour motorcycle race by pretending to be someone else, win, and kill Adolf Hitler. While the world thinks she succeeded, the Führer still lives, having sent his own skin-shifting doppelgänger to the victory ball. That trickery alone is enough to make Yael furious and frustrated, but adding to the pile is the mess she’s made of her own life and emotions. Yael, a skin-shifter, has been impersonating racer Adele Wolfe. Now on the run from the SS, she is caught by this year’s winner, Luka Lowe, who’s still in love with the girl Yael has been pretending to be. As the Resistance rages on, trying to make Operative Valkyrie the new regime, Adele’s brother Felix is kept captive in Japan, held for information. These three stories intertwine and diverge in a truly inventive way, making this alternate history novel feel distinctly real. Each primary character—Yael, Luka, and Felix—is individual and distinct, giving the reader a sense of adventure viewed through different eyes. Graudin’s writing is beautiful, her story exciting and consuming.

Kirkus Reviews (September 15, 2016)
Graudin returns to her what-if-Hitler-won alternate 1956, concluding the story begun in Wolf by Wolf (2015). After Yael’s failed assassination of Hitler (actually a skinshifter wearing his guise), the resistance seems doomed. Fortunately, opponent Luka follows when she flees; less fortunately, Felix, twin brother of the woman Yael has been impersonating, saw Yael’s tattoos (which do not change when she shifts appearance, although everything else, including mass, does) and conveys that clue to the SS-Standartenführer. All three are imprisoned, Felix as a double agent, then escape and fall in with the Soviets. The road trip back to Germania to again attack Hitler makes up the heart of the story, culminating in a showdown and war compressed into a few pages. As in the first book, Graudin’s unconventional syntactical choices (“the wolf-fierce…of her iron voice”; “blitzkrieg” as a verb) and frequently overworked metaphors (“Gossamer feelings…as sticky, fragile, complex, and beautiful as a spider’s web silvered in morning dew”) combine with a tendency to tell rather than show emotions, resulting in a strangely flat affect. Most problematic is the treatment of religion: Yael’s rediscovery of her Judaism is symbolized by eating challah, and the pivotal romance between a Jewish camp survivor and a Nazi poster boy will disturb some readers, no matter how conflicted and ignorant Luka may have been. Strictly for fans. (Historical fiction/fantasy. 12-16)

About the Author

Ryan Graudin was born in Charleston, South Carolina, with a severe case of wanderlust. When she’s not traveling, she’s busy writing and spending time with her husband and wolf dog. She is the author of Invictus, the Wolf By Wolf duology, The Walled City, and the All That Glows Series.

Her website is www.ryangraudin.com

Teacher Resources

Blood for Blood Book Club Guide

Around the Web

Blood for Blood on Amazon

Blood for Blood on JLG

Blood for Blood on Goodreads