The Brave Cyclist: The True Story of a Holocaust Hero
Author: Amalia Hoffman
Illustrator: Chiara Fedele
To Be Published: August 1, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: June 13, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Once a skinny and weak child, Gino Bartali rose to become a Tour de France champion and one of cycling’s greatest stars. But all that seemed unimportant when his country came under the grip of a brutal dictator and entered World War II on the side of Nazi Germany. Bartali might have appeared a mere bystander to the harassment and hatred directed toward Italy’s Jewish people, but secretly he accepted a role in a dangerous plan to help them. Putting his own life at risk, Bartali used his speed and endurance on a bike to deliver documents Jewish people needed to escape harm. His inspiring story reveals how one person could make a difference against violence and prejudice during the time of the Holocaust.
The Brave Cyclist is not your typical picture book. It tells the true story of Gino Bartali who was a small child who ended up winning the Tour de France twice in his lifetime and also became an important figure in World War II by helping to save the Jewish people of Italy. I did not know Gino’s story until I read this picture book. It shows how drive and determination really can help one person make a difference in a time of need. Gino would ride his bicycle 110 miles one way and he was even jailed for something he did not do. He not only risked his life, he also risked his family’s life.
There is an afterward included that informs us of Gino’s life. His story is well known in Italy, Gino’s hard work deserves recognition in history books worldwide. This story is aimed for children ages 9-12 and should be included in World War II coursework. This book needs to be in school libraries!
The only critique I can offer is that some pages the text takes up most of the page, so it may be a bit much for a picture book, but the well done illustrations definitely compliment the story.
Special thanks to Capstone for granting me an e-arc via NetGalley.
Today I am part of the Blog Blitz for Sue Wickstead’s children’s picture book Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus! I am sharing my 5 star review. For those of you in the UK there is also a giveaway going on!
Jay-Jay the bus is rescued from the dirty scrap yard, where he was sadly gathering dust and cobwebs. Feeling nervous yet excited, he is taken to an airport where he is magically transformed into a ‘Playbus’ full of toys, games and adventure.
A fictional tale based on a real-life bus ‘Supersonic’, which flew in the imaginations of the many young children who visited it.
Author: Sue Wickstead
Published: October 10, 2014
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: April 19, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is a colorful children’s picture book that is surprisingly based on fact. Jay-Jay is JJK261 and he has been forgotten in the scrap yard until one day some kids briefly play on him. Later on, he gets new lease on life as someone buys ALL of him and not just pieces of him! His future is much brighter now!
This is a short feel good children’s book that informs you of the ‘real’ JJK261 and his adventures. The story flows well and and has colorful pictures that enhance the story. It is not long and I can see small children enjoying this book and will be ready for more of Jay-Jay and his many adventures. This is a great beginning to Wickstead’s Jay-Jay books.
On a personal note: My grandmother was a bus driver and the part of the book with the kids playing on Jay-Jay brought back fond memories of my sister and myself playing on her school bus and even riding on the bus as my grandma picked up kids for school. Thanks for bringing up those memories Sue!
**For those of you in the UK: Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus will be 99p until 22nd April**
**Special Blitz Offer**
A free 3D bus which can be claimed via web site ‘Enquiry button using ref code JJay at www.suewickstead.co.uk
Additional bus models and books also offered as a promotion on request.
About the Author:
I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.
For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.
I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.
‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.
This story has now been followed by five more picture books.
I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.
The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.
**UK Only Giveaway**
Win Jay-Jay and the Island Adventure
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.[Top]
Today I am part of the blog tour for WTF, God? : Understanding God in the Midst of Transition by Michelle N. Onuorah which is being hosted by Itsy Bitsy Book Bits. I will be sharing my review.
Crossroads are an inevitable part of life. But how do you navigate them when your life is not your own?
At 22-years-old, Michelle Onuorah was a bestselling author, former runway model, and recent college graduate with the world at her fingertips…Or so she thought.
In a matter of weeks which turned into months…and eventually most of her twenties, the God of the universe systematically revealed that He was also the God of her life – and she was not. With breathtaking candor, razor sharp humor, and bold vulnerability, Michelle shares the ten key lessons she’s learned about God, life and understanding both in the midst of ceaseless transitions.
In her words, “This book is for those of you who believed with all your heart that you would end up in one place and somehow, despite following God – or maybe even because of it – ended up on a completely different path. This is for those of you who, though you love God, sometimes wonder who He even is. This is for those of you who choose to believe He’s still good.”
This book is for you.
WTF, God?: Understanding God in the Midst of Transition
Author: Michelle N. Onuorah
Published: January 13, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: February 17-20, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Imagine you have your life planned out the way YOU want, but God has other plans for you and it is a 180 from the reality you had in mind. This is what happened with Michelle N. Onuorah’s life in the 5 years from when she graduated college. And it started with 4 words: “We’re letting you go”.
WTF, God is Onuorah’s memoir of her unexpected life that God had planned all along. Yes, the title means just what you think it means. Imagine your frustrations with life take hold of you so much that you have to yell out “WTF, God!?!?!?” Yes, there is some foul language in this memoir, but it is not extreme as you may think it is going to be.
Onuorah is candid about her life history, struggles, and her addictions despite her fears of admitting them to us, the reader. As I was reading it felt as if she was talking directly to me. I know a little of her history as I have read all of her previous works and enjoyed them, and even have communicated via email with her, but now I feel I know her more personally. WTF, God is a short memoir just over 100 pages and can be read very quickly. In the first 90 minutes of reading it I was over halfway done with it!
Despite the roller coaster that life may bring us, Onuorah shows us through sharing about her life that God knows what he is doing and to have faith in Him. Despite the title possibly turning you off of the book, please pick up WTF, God. You won’t regret it!
WTF, God is recommended.
Michelle N. Onuorah is the bestselling author of Type N, Taking Names, Remember Me, Jane and Atlas Died. WTF, God? is her debut non-fiction release. The daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Michelle grew up with a love of storytelling. At the tender age of thirteen, she wrote her first book, Double Identity, and self-published it the next year. For three years, she ran an independent magazine, MNO, and served as the main writer and editor-in-chief. Her writing has appeared in Vestiges Literary Magazine, Avalon Literary Review, and Medium.com among others.
A graduate of Biola University, Michelle is putting her film degree to use by producing a new teaching series under her company, MNO Media, LLC. The series, Life in His Light, is designed to help Christians who struggle with depression overcome it.