Saturday, March 2, 2013

{Project 101} Weekly Library Challenge: War & Peace + Women's History Month

We are now at Week 6 of Project 101: a Weekly Library Challenge, in which I share what we are reading now (by the end of the year 101 books will be shared in honor of the County of Los Angeles celebrating its 101st birthday this year). For the last couple of weeks, I was focused on Dr. Seuss -- whose birthday is today, so you can pop through the post last week and the week before for some fun Seuss fun. Also, many of the books I have been reading have been biographies. This week that trend continues for me. Plus, I am sharing a wonderful book my boys love that I definitely suggest you add to your lists for Read Across America Month! So, no I did not read War and Peace, rather I read a book related to war and the boys have been loving a beautiful children's book about peace.  

Each week, I share a book the boys are reading from the library and a book I am reading. The book Talk Peace, which I have been reading to the boys could have been featured almost any week because the boys love it so much that we just kept rechecking it from the library -- so many times in fact that we hit our limit. I may have to buy it for them. Written by Sam Williams and illustrated by Mique Moriuchi, the book shares the message that it is always possible to talk peace, whether you talk high or talk low and even proclaims that we can dance peace. We have certainly had some peace dancing at our house with this book. I love the illustrations and the fact that the children in the book reflect the world all around us in their diversity and beauty. It underscores an important message and shares that message in a fun way. 

I have been reading about war -- well not in the way you might think, though. The powerful book I finished last night is Things We Couldn't Say by Diet Eman with James Schaap. I realize, too, that it is a great book to share for Women's History Month because Diet is an extraordinary woman that many of us have never heard of. This book is her amazing story. Diet was a young woman living in The Hague in The Netherlands when Germany invaded and occupied the country during World War II. Initially, she defied the occupiers in small ways by refusing to speak German -- ever. Eventually, though, when the Germans began persecuting Jews and then working to round them up and send them to Germany, Diet (and her fiancee) knew they had to do more. She saved hundreds of lives as a part of the Dutch Resistance finding  farm homes for Jewish families to hide out in and then biking (and later walking) throughout the country to ensure that the families had enough ration cards, false IDs and other items to survive. Her work became even more important when the Germans began forcing Dutch men of a healthy age to go to Germany to work for the war effort (against their will of course). As a woman, she could travel more easily, though she still did end up spending time in jail and in a concentration camp.  

What struck me the most about her story was that despite the horror she personally witnessed, she kept her faith and her commitment to helping others and saving as many people as she could -- even though it cost her dearly. (Many that she loved and cherished died in concentration camps). The resistance group she helped form with her fiancee was called HEIN (Help Elkander In Nood, meaning helping each other need). The book consists of her memories, diary entries and letters she and her fiancee wrote to one another. It has lead me to wonder if I would be so brave and risk so much to help others if I were put in that situation. I would like to think that I would. It also inspires me to always remember to do what I can to help others in need. I feel blessed to have discovered this book. Diet is 92 and still living. You can read excerpts of the book here

Shared at: The Sunday Showcase, Sources of Inspiration, The Children's Bookshelf.  

Other posts from Project 101 and More:
Week 1 of the Project
Week 3: Rosa Parks + More
Acts of Kindness for Everyone


  1. Things we couldn't say sounds like an amazing story - I love your focus this week!

  2. Thank you so much for doing this! I have loved your posts and the book selections you have made. I have already read a few and am so excited to read the others....thank you so much for the inspiration to feed our minds and that of our families with good and to live it out in our actions!

  3. Great recommendations, thank you! My grandfather was in the Dutch Resistance so I will have to check that book out.

  4. Have you read "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom? Similar story. I love this take on Women's History Month.

  5. These look like wonderful inspiring reads. You describe them so well.

    Thanks for linking up :)

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

  6. Thanks for sharing "Things we couldn't say". It must have taken so much courage to do what she did!

  7. These look great. Thanks for sharing at The Children's Bookshelf.