Monday, June 24, 2013

Exploring Historical Fiction

On an island called Guernsey off the coast of the British Isles, a budding author makes contact with a strange group of people: members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  She writes them a letter and discovers through their correspondence that they are just as unique as their name.  She then unearths an amazing story about the islanders' survival through Nazi occupation and the role of the small island in one of history's most gruesome wars.

Set during and after World War II, the book is written entirely by letters and diary entries.  This allows the reader to feel a strong connection with each of the characters and get insights into their emotions throughout the book.  The author does an excellent job of incorporating history into the gripping tale of survival while still maintaining an easy-to-read style.

Why read this book?

Historical fiction is a genre that usually gets overlooked by the average teenager.  It's seen as boring, dull, or "the stuff we read in english class."  However, the world of history holds so many uncharted mysteries that are just waiting to be discovered.  What better way to travel than through reading a book?  How was it to stand on a field overlooking the Battle of Gettysburg?  What was Cleopatra thinking in her very last moments alive?  Did Napoleon regret his decision to invade Russia?  We can instantly step onto a pirate ship or walk around in Shakespeare's boots for the day without ever leaving the comfort of our homes.  All of this history and more is at our fingertips, just waiting to be dug up and explored.

~Sgt. Pepper

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