November 5, 2016 by Zoë
Potions and Paper Cranes by Lan Fang, translated by Elisabet Titik Murtisari
I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m eagerly anticipating reading it. I love Lan Fang’s short stories and poems, and I’m interested to see what she has to say about the Japanese Occupation in Indonesia.
The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng
Another novel about the Japanese Occupation of Southeast Asia, this time set in what’s now Malaysia. The main character is half-Chinese, which is an interesting viewpoint for the story to take on and made it easier for me, at least, to connect to the story.
The Blazing Air by Oswald Wynd
This is obviously a very British-centric view of the Japanese invasion of the Malayan peninsula, but after reading The Gift of Rain I found it to be an interesting change. Also, some of the little details about daily life in the 40’s really struck me.
Breaking the Tongue by Vyvyane Loh
Rounding out this list of books about the Japanese Occupation in various parts of Southeast Asia, here’s one about Singapore. I’ve written about it before, and I ended up writing a paper on it for school, but let’s just say that this one is great too.
Front Lines by Michael Grant
1942. World War II. The most terrible war in human history. Millions are dead; millions more are still to die. The Nazis rampage across Europe and eye far-off America.
The green, untested American army is going up against the greatest fighting force ever assembled—the armed forces of Nazi Germany.
But something has changed. A court decision makes females subject to the draft and eligible for service. So in this World War II, women and girls fight, too.
As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, three girls sign up to fight. Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman are average girls, girls with dreams and aspirations, at the start of their lives, at the start of their loves. Each has her own reasons for volunteering. Not one expects to see actual combat. Not one expects to be on the front lines.
Rio, Frangie, and Rainy will play their parts in the war to defeat evil and save the human race. They will fear and they will rage; they will suffer and they will inflict suffering; they will hate and they will love. They will fight the greatest war the world has ever known.
I’ve written about Michael Grant before, but let’s just say that I’ve been a fan since the Animorphs books (which he co-wrote along with his wife, Katherine Applegate a.k.a. K. A. Applegate). Animorphs got the ball rolling in terms of having non-white characters and the two have just kept on going. This new series by Grant is fantastic so far. Lots of representation of different kinds of characters, head-on treatment of racism, and a really interesting premise. I cannot wait for the next book in the series, which should come out at the end of January.