New and recommended reads for Young Adults
Light in Hidden Places. Sharon Cameron
This is the true story of Stefania Podgorska, a Polish teenager who hid thirteen Jews in her attic during World War 2. It is an inspiring story of bravery, strength and survival. Stefania has to find suitable accommodation in which to hide her Jewish friends and then she faces the daily struggle of providing enough food for everyone with limited resources and only two ration cards at her disposal. On top of this she has the responsibility of caring for her younger sister. Then, when it seems life cannot possibly get any more difficult, she is forced to give a bedroom in her home to two German nurses who enjoy entertaining local German SS officers.
The author has used Stefania's own unpublished memoir to tell this story so although it is written as fiction it is very true to actual events. This is a truly remarkable book.
Everything is not fine. Sarah J Carlson
This story clearly shows the effect heroin addiction has on families before, during and after an overdose occurs. Seventeen year old Rose dreams of going to Art School but after her mother overdoses she finds herself bearing the burden of caring for her younger siblings and her mother. Rose eventually loses all desire to create until her art teacher gives her the assignment to paint a mural for her school's homecoming. During this time she meets Rafa, a new student, and in him she finds a true friend and confidante. This is a gritty story and although it doesn't deliver the fairy tale ending it does highlight the importance of family and offers a glimmer of hope for a brighter future for Rose.
Afakasi Woman. Lani Wendt Young
This book is a collection of stories about the lives of Pacific women that will appeal to readers of all ages. Each story offers a unique insight into the highs and lows experienced by these women. The heart breaking story of "Don't tell" leaves the reader feeling appalled at the injustice experienced by a victim of abuse. In contrast when reading "When a Palagi wants to date a Samoan woman" you cannot help but smile. This is a challenging and enjoyable book and be prepared for a roller coaster of emotions as you read.