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S is currently zooming through the Who Was . . .? illustrated biography series for young readers put out by Gosset & Dunlap. He told me that I should pick my favorite dead person and write my own Who Was book and that “it would definitely get published because ALL second graders love the Who Was books.” The expression on his face was so earnest that I had to give him a hug. “Who would you write about?” he asked. Winston Churchill came to mind. As did Enid Blyton, my favorite author when I was S’s age and who, I realize, I know absolutely nothing about. S knows who Winston Churchill is because he just finished Who Was Anne Frank? which includes a sidebar on the friendship forged between Churchill and Roosevelt during World War II. And then Princess Diana came to mind. I think a Who Was Princess Di? would be marvelous. S tells me he's never heard of her.

Faced with such cheerful encouragement from my son, I decided to read Who Was Anne Frank? Here are a few paragraphs I’d like to share:

 “A short life – even a very short life – can be full of meaning.”

 “Hitler had murdered six million Jews. That is a fact – a horrible fact – and yet it is almost impossible to understand. Reading about the life of one young girl who died because of Hitler is easier to understand. Anne’s diary made a huge, terrible event personal. Here was a girl with hopes and dreams. All she wanted was a chance to live her life.”

 From Anne’s diary: “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

 S now wants to read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. “We can read it together,” he said.

 It seems that the Gosset & Dunlap books are doing their job, at least at my house. Entertaining, informing and stimulating a young mind.

Other titles in the Who Was . . .? series:

Who Was Charles Darwin?
Who Was Claude Monet?
Who Was Harry Houdini?
Who Was Jim Henson?
Who Was King Tut?
Who Was Louis Armstrong?
Who Was Ronald Reagan?
Who Was Walt Disney?
Who Was William Shakespeare?

 Who would you like to see in the Who Was . . . line-up?

 In closing, I’d like to remind you that the Library-loving blog challenge is still underway, so if you haven’t already, please visit my previous post and leave a comment so that I can get closer to my target donation. Thanks so much.


Apr. 10th, 2011 06:04 am (UTC)
My cousin recommended this blog and she was totally right keep up the fantastic work!

Apr. 11th, 2011 01:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and your cousin.


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