Saturday, May 31, 2014

Why Daddy Serves His Country

A great book for military
families, except for one thing.
At the BookExpo America yesterday I saw this coloring book for kids and thought it would be great for military families. Why Daddy Serves His Country is patriotic and provides valuable historical information on wars in which American soldiers were in harm's way.

The illustrations by Scott Novzen are appropriate and appear to be easy to color.

The book includes cute stories that bring home the difficulties that veterans come back from war having to face. My personal favorite story is about ancestors of the book's author, Major R. Scott ("Scotty") Price, Retired, who served from 1978 to 1992 in the field artillery and other branches of the U.S. Army:
Brothers Edward and John Reese fought on opposite sides: one for the North and the other for the South. ... Both brothers survived the four years of war but each lost a leg, Edward his right one and John his left. After the war they became very close again and, as luck would have it, they both had the same shoe size. So each year they would take the train to Richmond together and buy a pair of shoes. 
I think the book is charming and very suitable for military families...

Along with the coloring books for kids, this is for sale.
However, I have a problem. The last page of the book advertises four other coloring books, "Machine Gun Inventors," "Machine Guns of World War I", "Machine Guns of World War II", and "Famous People with Their Firearms". This is understandable, since the coloring books are all published by a business that caters to gun enthusiasts, which also produces gun magazines like the Small Arms Review.

For me, the issue is whether the coloring books, especially as a group of four, create the idea that guns are the way to solve problems.

If your reaction is that I must be crazy in thinking this, take a look at the T shirt that is being sold on the website and think about the number of young people who have in recent years decided that their social problems are best dealt with by killing a bunch of innocent people in a classroom or a restaurant or somewhere else in their community.

So there you are. A good book for kids, unless you are concerned that the source of the book advertises a T shirt that promotes the idea that having a gun nearby is a good way to solve problems that come up. What is the impact on kids of this message?

Friday, May 30, 2014

WW2 | D-Day Gravesites, 70 Years On

Map 1. Normandy Invasion. Utah-Omaha Beaches, where U.S.
troops took heavy losses. Also shows Bayeux, Caen, Honfleur.
In the week of D-Day (June 6) 1944, every available pilot was put to use.

So many RAF pilots were killed by anti-aircraft fire in their missions over France that every available pilot was put to use.

They were needed to destroy railways, bridges and roads so as to prevent Nazi troops from the south to prevent them from joining in the battles in Normandy.

My mother's younger brother, Willem van Stockum, was given a Halifax bomber to fly with six in crew.

He was an experienced pilot, with a Ph.D. in mathematics and months spent as an instructor to other pilots, way overqualified. He was 33 years old and ordinarily would have been given light duty. He was an instructor with the RCAF in Canada when he volunteered to fly for the RAF. He was posted to 10th Squadron in Melbourne. He flew six missions in the days before and after D-Day.

Monument to the crew of the plane piloted by Willem
van Stockum from the RCAF, shot down over
Entrammes, near Laval.
In a second plane  on the same mission of ten bombers was another pilot who was older than average, Thomas Henderson. He was also a Commonwealth volunteer, an Australian, Thomas Henderson. His plane and van Stockum's were shot down on June 10, 1944.

On June 7-8 2014, just prior to the 70th anniversary of D-Day, Alice and I had the pleasure of visiting memorial sites in and near Normandy, with Thomas Henderson's son Rex and his wife Deb Henderson.

It was a poignant week. We came from the United States and the Hendersons came from Australia. We were all there because  the citizens of Laval, to the south of Normandy, were about to unveil a monument to RAF airmen at Entrammes and St. Berthevin.

Monument to Thomas Henderson, the Australian pilot
of the second plane that was shot down in the early hours
of June 10, 1944, over Berthevin.
We drove north from Laval through Normandy, using routes E401 and E46. On Saturday, June 7 we went via Caen and Bayeux to Honfleur, stopping at Bayeux to see the tapestry. Honfleur is an historic gem of a port village; we stayed at la Closerie. Sunday, June 8 we went to the Normandy beaches, WW2 museum and cemetery at Omaha Beach.

June 9-10, Laval Area

Led by Jean-Louis Cholet of "Souvenir Francais" (in the Mayenne branch, the department to the south that includes Laval), Jean-Luc Peslier of the Association of the Mayenne Airmen (AMAA) and other hosts from the Town of Laval and other groups, the families of the 14 downed airmen were escorted to key spots.

The airmen were flying two Handley-Page Halifax bombers (MZ 684 and MZ 532) out of the 10th Squadron RAF station in Melbourne, Yorkshire, and were shot down over Entrammes and St. Berthevin, southeast and west of Laval, on June 10, 1944.

They are buried in a special section of the communal cemetery in Laval - photos are posted here.

(I wondered why there were 20 names listed in the cemetery, six more than the number of airmen who crashed and the number of tombstones in the cemetery in the airmen's section - Section E, Sub-section D, row 1. The answer is that five soldiers and one airman from the British Commonwealth are buried in a different part of the cemetery - in section A, sub-section A, row 28. The airman is Flying Officer Kenneth John Trask from the Royal Australian Air Force, who died November 11, 1943; grave #42500. The five soldiers are named Clark, Hunt, Morgan, Sharratt, and Stokes.)

For me it was important closure. When my mother first came to the gravesite of her brother Willem in 1954 she found that all of the other 13 airmen had gravestones. Her brother only had a wooden marker. She was deeply upset. She told me that one possible explanation was that her brother was an atheist and therefore wasn't allowed to have a Christian marker.

That, of course, was highly improbable, but my mother was a convert to Catholicism (her parents were agnostic although born to religious Dutch Reform families) and it surely reflected her state of mind. The family trip around Europe was billed as pilgrimage and we deliberately stopped at places like Lourdes and Santiago de Compostela (the end of the Camino Santiago).

In fact, the problem was that her brother died a Dutch citizen, although he was in the process of applying for U.S. citizenship - he was a young faculty member in mathematics at the University of Maryland when the war broke out. The Dutch, with many other challenges on their hands, had not yet delivered the special Dutch tombstone for Willem, whereas the RAF had managed by 1954 to get the 13 other gravestones in place.

Monday, June 9, 2014
Map 2. Normandy and Pays-de-la-Loire. Shows Laval,
Le Mans, Caen, Honfleur
10 am - Brunch in Laval at the Brasserie Chez Marcel, impasse Barbé; before the roundabout route to Le Mans on 57 RD from Laval.
12 Noon - Lunch at Le Parc Gourmand in Conlie.
1:30 pm - Visit to the WW2 Museum, guided by Mr. Roger Bellon, a self-taught wood-carver who accompanied his relics of the war with depictions of what happened.
Map 3. Shows Laval, Ernée, Entrammes, St. Berthevin.
6:30 pm - Ernée, dinner with the musicians of the Army Air Force, at Grand Cerf.
7:50 pm - Clair de Lune Hall by car or on foot. Seating in the concert hall reserved for family, AMAA and VIPs.
8:45 pm - Concert by the brass band, Music of the Paris Air Force.
10:30 pm - Drinks with the conductor and musicians.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

9 am - Laval, RV esplanade "Ch Nine" for guided tour in English of Old Laval, starting with the old castle. Guide is Helene.
Map 4. Shows Laval, Conlie, Ernée
10:30 am - Laval, Vaufleury Cemetery - Graveside Ceremony at the Airmen's Square with a brief ecumenical service, speeches, RAF Anthem and wreath-laying.
11:30 am - Laval, Official reception at City Hall.
12:30 pm -  Laval, Lunch at Relais Champetre ("Country Stage Stop"), near the Airport.

2:30 pm - Entrammes, Pear Farm (outside the village on the road to Maisoncelles ), ceremony following unveiling of the monument to Halifax bomber MZ 684. Laying of wreaths/flowers in the presence of the Mayor of Entrammes and other local officials, with anthem and flag bearers. This is the plane that was piloted by flying officer van Stockum, about whom a science-fiction novel called Time Bomber was published in 2014.
3:15 p.m. - On to the Lycée Agricole, "Chateau Blancherie", remembrance of MZ 532 with testimony and comments on the mission. For a photo of the MZ 532 crew and a British presentation in 2013 in honor of the 10th Squadron based in Melbourne, Yorks., go here: Halifax Crew MZ 532.

4:45 pm - St. Berthevin, in Pont-Alain. Unveiling of the monument to Halifax bomber MZ 532 with wreath-laying in presence of the Mayor of Berthevin and other officials, and flag-bearers.
5:45 pm - Meeting Centre of the City of St. Berthevin, northwest of Laval. Welcome and toasts in memory of the downed airmen.
7 pm - Welcome by staff of the AMAA, restaurant "Maine".
7:45 p.m. - Farewell dinner, presentation of mission maps for the nights of June 9-10, 1944 (Melbourne/Laval) and gift souvenir of the monument for families.

UNABOMBER | How the FBI Nailed Him

L to R: FBI Special Agents Max Noel, Terry Turchie,
Jim Freeman at BookExpo America 2014 in NYC.
© 2014 JT Marlin.
May 30, 2014–As I was walking through the Javits Center at BookExpo America yesterday at 3 pm, a familiar face looked out at me from a blow-up of a book cover.

It was Theodore J[ohn] (Ted) Kaczynski, the Unabomber, the most [in]famous member of my class of 1962 at Harvard, who sent bombs by U.S. mail to his victims starting in 1978.

A new book has just come out by the three FBI special agents that tracked down Kaczynski. They were signing books. My timing was fortuitous and I got the first copy they signed.

Their book makes the point that the FBI was not well structured to deal with random violence of the kind that the Unabomber engaged in. "He was not [the FBI's] normal prey." Although the letter bombs were addressed to individuals, they could have exploded anywhere along the way. The FBI was also not well structured to bring in the kind of cooperation that David Kaczynski eventually provided, in return for assurance that prosecutors would not seek the death penalty for his brother (p. 269).

The authors argue that the Unabomber case helped bring about some reforms at the FBI to address terrorist and random-bombing incidents. These reforms were implemented by FBI Director Louis Freeh in the years leading up to 2001. Freeh left in the spring of 2001 and Robert Mueller took over the FBI. The authors of the book argue that the changes Freeh made helped prepare the FBI to respond to the 9/11 attacks, although they properly avoid giving any credit to the Unabomber for any of the reforms.

The details of the investigation are fascinating. As a general comment, the authors emphasize the importance of the cooperation of the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Unabomber's brother David. In the end, investigators can't do the job by themselves.

It's good to have the conduct of the investigation on the record, and to recognize the hard work of the agents in solving the case.


When the case was broken, the media tracked down virtually every member of the Harvard Class of 1962. When I introduced myself to Max Noel, the Supervisory Special Agent of the UNABOM [sic, no "b" at the end] Task Force, he said he felt he had met every member of the class. This book should help my classmates get some closure on the shock that one of us could do such things.

Kaczynski's entries in the quinquennial class reports of the Class of 1962 are unusual. His first address in 1967 was in Lisbon, Iowa. In 1972, he is in Lombard, Ill. In 1977, he's in Great Falls, Mont. Then in 1987 and 1992, his "last known address" is given as in Khadar Khel, Afghanistan. Then in his 35th Anniversary report in 1997 his address was listed as "unknown", even though he was arrested in 1996 and his location was the best-known in the class. In his 50th Anniversary report, the address of the maximum-security penitentiary is listed; he lists his Occupation as "Prisoner" and his 1998 "Awards" as eight life sentences.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May 28 - Birthday of Ian Fleming

Bond... James Bond. (As first played
by [Sir Thomas] Sean Connery.)
This day was born Ian Fleming in London in 1908. His father, Valentine, was a Member of Parliament, whose obituary when he died in World War I was written by Winston Churchill. Ian worked as a foreign journalist, banker, stockbroker, and assistant to the director of British naval intelligence, then as foreign manager of London's Sunday Times.

In 1953 he published his first book, Casino Royale, about a character who would make him famous, James Bond. The playboy spy — code name "007" — was accompanied by "M" at headquarters, Miss Moneypenny as his awed secretary, and a host of fast cars and gadgets prepared by "Q" at "Q branch" of MI6. Not to mention a series of sexy women, many of whom pay for their dalliance by being slaughtered in gruesome ways (e.g., pursued by two Dobermans trained to kill).

The first of many successful movies featuring several incarnations of James Bond as Dr. No in 1962. Fleming went along with the idea (from the casting of Bond by Sean Connery in the first movies) that Bond was Scottish, since in his last books he talked about Bond's Scottish ancestry.

The Wikipedia entry on James Bond and his knockoffs and parodies is astonishingly thorough, showing how and why the character now ranks among the top ten or even five of the best-known heroes of all time. The introductory line, when Bond introduces himself - "Bond... James Bond" - has been called the most famous line in movie history, apparently now out-ranking the many oft-repeated-by-me sayings of Rick and friends in Casablanca.

Fleming's fictional character was a composite of spies and "commando types" he came across in the Naval Intelligence Division in World War II. Among them were, says Wikipedia:
...his brother, Peter, who had been involved in behind-the-lines operations in Norway and Greece during the war, ... Conrad O'Brien-ffrench, Patrick Dalzel-Job and Bill "Biffy" Dunderdale.
Cover of new book on Roger
Moore at BookExpo America.
Not mentioned in Wikipedia is Sir William Stephenson, the wartime intelligence liaison between Winston Churchill and FDR. His code name was "Intrepid".  A plaque in honor of "Intrepid" has been posted on the 36th Floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York City where Sir William had his office. I am advised by a reliable source that Stephenson "informed" the character of James Bond.

Update, May 29, 2014: A new book is coming out in 2014 on the man who succeeded [Sir] Sean Connery as James Bond - [Sir] Roger Moore, starting in 1973, for a string of seven movies. The cover shown at the BookExpo America has the title One Lucky Bastard.

A TV miniseries called "Fleming" is also out in 2014.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014 - 70th Anniversary of "A Soldier's Creed"

Willem van Stockum, front center, with crew members of the
Halifax bomber (in background) that he piloted. A Dutchman,
he joined the RCAF and RAF before the USA mobilized.
America's Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, was first observed as "Decoration Day" after the Civil War, on May 30, 1868.

That day, 5,000 people decorated the graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Similar events were held in more than 180 other cemeteries, often with potluck meals, hymn-singing and prayer.

Last year on this day, I reprinted "A Soldier's Creed" at the request of my sister Lis, and I am doing so again this year. It was written in the form of a letter in June 1944 from the RAF Station in Melbourne, Yorkshire, home of the 10th Squadron, to my mother by her brother, Willem van Stockum.

Willem was killed June 10, 1944, a few days after D-Day.  He was piloting a Halifax bomber well behind the Normandy lines. His letter was published in The Horn Book, November-December 1944. It is also reprinted at the end of Time Bomber, by Robert Wack. Willem is buried in Laval with six members of his crew and another seven airmen who were crew members of another Halifax bomber shot down the same night. My wife Alice and I will be visiting the grave sites in the first week of June.

(later credited to Willem van Stockum, previously kept anonymous for military protection) 
Published in The Horn Book, November-December 1944. 

Willem J. van Stockum
in uniform.
I didn’t join the war to improve the Universe; in fact, I am sick and tired of the eternal sermons on the better world we are going to build when this war is over. I hate the disloyalty to the past twenty years.

Apparently people think that life in those twenty years, which cover most of my conscious existence, was so terrible that no-one can be expected to fight for it. We must attempt to dazzle people with some brilliant schemes leading, probably, to some horrible Utopia, before we can ask them to fight.

I detest that point of view. I hate the idea of people throwing their lives away for slum-clearance projects or forty-hour weeks or security and exchange commissions. It is a grotesque and horrible thought. There are so many better ways of achieving this than diving into enemy guns.

Lives are precious things and are of a different order and entail a different scale of values than social systems, political theories, or art. “Why are we not given a cause?” some people ask. I do not understand this question. It seems so plain to me. There are millions and millions of people who are shot, persecuted and tortured daily in Europe. The assault on so many of our fellow human beings makes some of us tingle with anger and gives us an urge to do something about it.

That, and that alone, makes some of us feel strongly about the war.

All the rest is vapid rationalization. All this talk about philosophy, the degeneration of art and literature, the poisoning of Nazi youth, which the Nazi system entails, and which we all rightly condemn, is still not the reason why we fight and why we are willing to risk our lives. Here, let us say, is a soldier. He asks himself, “Why should I die?” You would tell him: “To preserve our civilization.” When the soldier replies: “To Hell with your civilization; I never thought it so hot,” you take him up wrongly when you sit down and say to yourself: “Well, after all, maybe it wasn’t so hot,” and then brightly tap him on the shoulder and say: “Well, I’ve thought of a better idea. I know this civilization wasn’t so hot, but you go and die anyway and we’ll fix up a really good one after the war.”

I say you take him up wrong because his remark: “To Hell with your civilization” doesn’t really mean that he is not seriously concerned about our civilization. He is simply revolted by the idea of dying for ANY civilization. Civilization simply isn’t the kind of thing you ever want to die for. It is something to enjoy and something to help build up because it’s fun, and that is that, and that is all.

When a man jumps into the fire to save his wife he doesn’t justify himself by saying that his wife was so civilized that it was worth the risk! There is only one reason why a man will throw himself into mortal combat and that is because there is nothing else to do and doing nothing is more intolerable than the fear of death. I could stand idly by and see every painting by Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo thrown into a bonfire and feel no more than a deep regret, but throw one small, insignificant Polish urchin on the same bonfire and, by God, I’d pull him out or else. I fight quite simply for that and I cannot see what other reasons there are. At least, I can see there are reasons, but they are not the reasons that motivate me.

During the first two years of the war when I was an instructor at an American University [the University of Maryland] in close contact with American youth and in close contact with the vital isolationist question in the States, I often felt that there was much insincerity, conscious or unconscious, on our, the Interventionist, side of the argument. We had strong views on the danger of isolationism for the United States. We thought, rightly, that for the sake of self-interest and self-preservation the United States should take every step to ensure the defeat of the Nazi criminals.

But however sound our arguments, our own motives and intensity of feeling did not spring from those arguments but from an intense passion for common righteousness and decency.

Suppose it could have been proved to us at that time that the participation of the United States in the stamping out of organized murder, rape and torture in Europe could only take place at great cost to the United States, while not doing so would in no way impair her security. Would we not still have prayed that our country might do something? And would we not have been proud to see her do something?

There is an appalling timidity and false shame among intellectuals. The common man in the last war went to fight quite simply as a crusader. I am not talking about politics now, I am not either asserting or denying that England declared war from purely generous and noble considerations, but I am asserting that the common man went and fought with the rape of Belgium foremost in his mind and saw himself as an avenger of wrong.

After the war the common man went quietly back to his home. The intellectuals, however, upon coming back, ashamed of their one lapse of finding themselves in agreement with every Tom, Dick and Harry, must turn around and deride the things they were ready to give their lives for. As they were the only vocal group, the opinion became firmly established that the last war was a grave mistake and that anyone who got killed in it was a sucker.

And now, in this war, these intellectuals are hoist with their own petard. They lack the nerve and honesty to represent the American doughboy to himself for what he is. They do not give him the one picture in his mind which would stimulate his imagination and which would make him see beyond the fatigues, the mud, the boredom and the fear.

The picture is there for anyone to paint who has a gift for words. It is a simple picture and a true picture and no one who has ever sat as a small child and listened with awe to a fairy story can fail to understand. The intellectuals, however, have made fun of the picture and so they won't use it.

But some day an American doughboy in an American tank will come lurching into some small Polish, Czech or French village and it may fall to his lot to shoot the torturers and open the gates of the village jail. And then he will understand.

There is a lot of talk among our intellectuals about our youth. Our youth is supposed to want a change, a new order, a revolution or what not. But it is my conviction that that is emphatically NOT what our youth wants. Have you ever been in a picture house on a Saturday afternoon, when it is filled with children and some old Western movie is ending in a race of time between the hero and the villain? Have you seen the rapt attention, the glowing faces, the clenched fists? What our young men really want is to be able to give that same concentrated attention and emotional participation, this time to reality, and this time as heroes and not as spectators, that they were able to give to unsubstantial shadows, before long words and cliches had killed their imaginations. Killed them so dead that they can no longer see even reality itself imaginatively.

It is up to the intellectuals to rekindle the thing they have tried to destroy. It is as simple as St. George and the Dragon. Why not have the courage to point out that St. George fought the dragon because he wanted to liberate a captive and not because he wanted to lead a better life afterwards? Some day, sometime, my picture of an American doughboy in a Polish village will become true. Wouldn’t it be better for him then to have the cross of St. George on his banner than a long rigmarole about a better world?

As long as our intellectuals and leaders do not have the courage to risk being thought sentimental and out-of-date and are not willing to stress that nations as well as individuals are entitled to their acts of heroism and chivalry, they will never be able to give our youth what it needs. It is true that every fairy story ends with the words: “and they lived happily ever after.” How irritating a child would be, though, if it interrupted its mother at every sentence to ask: “But, Mummy, will they live happily ever afterwards?” It simply isn’t the point of the fairy story and it isn’t the point of this war.
Presumably we won’t live happily ever after this war. But just as a fairy story helps to increase a child’s awareness and wonder at the world, so this war may make us more aware of one another. Perhaps we shall learn, and perhaps some things will be better organized. I hope so. I believe so.

But only if we engage in this war with our hearts as well as our minds. For goodness sake, let us stop this empty political theorizing according to which a man would have to have a University degree in social science before he could see what he was fighting for.

It is all so simple, really, that a child can understand it.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

May 7-8 V-E Day (+ 69 Years) - June 6 D-Day (+ 70 Years)

May 7, 1945 was V-E Day in Europe for the Western front (the war was still on with Japan). A representative of the German forces signed a surrender to General Eisenhower in Reims on May 7 and in Berlin on May 8. This year was the 69th anniversary of V-E Day. In the Soviet Union V-E Day is celebrated on May 9 because it was a day later in Moscow.

The war in Europe started in earnest for Americans on D-Day, June 6, 1944, when the Allies invaded Europe.  Before then, the United States was mostly involved through manufacturing materiel for the Allies. On D-Day, the American military took the brunt of the huge losses, mostly through the tragically exposed landing of the 1st and 29th U.S. Army Infantry Divisions on Omaha Beach.

The losses in the Soviet Union, Poland and Germany, and among European Jews and Gypsies, were already catastrophic.

Since 22 November 2004, by UN General Assembly resolution 59/26, May 8 and 9 are designated as a Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during World War II.
May 8 is the day that officially ended World War II in Europe by Germany's signing of an unconditional surrender of its armed forces in Berlin. The surrender was signed the day before in Reims, France. May 9 is the day that the German surrender became effective in Russia, and therefore they celebrate that day as the day of peace.
My wife Alice and I will be in France, in Normandy and Mayenne (just south of Normandy), the week of D-Day. My uncle Willem van Stockum is buried in Laval, Mayenne with the other six members of his crew and another seven members of another Halifax bomber that was shot down the same night, June 10, 1944.

In preparation for our visit, I have been researching D-Day and World War II in Europe. My main focus is a new book targeted at young people by Rick Atkinson, D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944, published by Henry Holt. It is meant to be used in schools and is adapted from Atkinson's #1 best-selling book The Guns at Last Light.

The book is definitely for the older Young Adult market because the language does not make much allowance for expected vocabulary in the elementary school grades (see my post on age-appropriate books). But it is, as I said in my review, authoritative, comprehensive and compelling. Here are the top 15 books for children on World War II, as ranked by Goodreads. The Diary of Anne Frank is published in multiple editions, so its ranking as #3 is probably a result of some votes for the book going to other editions. These rankings are out of a total of 167 books currently on the Goodreads list for World War II. You can affect these rankings by voting.
1The Book Thief by  4.37 of 5 stars
 4.37 avg rating — 539,713 ratings   score: 4,045and 41 people voted
2Number the Stars by  4.07 of 5 stars 
4.07 avg rating — 248,305 ratings
3The Diary of a Young Girl by  4.06 of 5 stars
 4.06 avg rating — 1,199,357 ratings
4The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by  4.04 of 5 stars
 4.04 avg rating — 151,152 ratings
5Edelweiss Pirates ‘Operatio... by  4.2 of 5 stars 4.20 avg rating — 141 ratings
6Secret Army (Henderson's Bo... by  4.16 of 5 stars
 4.16 avg rating — 1,081 ratings
7The Borrowed House (Young A... by  4.17 of 5 stars 4.17 avg rating — 169 ratings     score: 1,080and 11 people voted
8The Devil's Arithmetic by  4.07 of 5 stars 
4.07 avg rating — 26,193 ratings
9When Hitler Stole Pink Rabb... by  3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 4,086 ratings   score: 1,067and 11 people voted
10Code Name Verity (Code Name... by  4.12 of 5 stars 4.12 avg rating — 25,738 ratings   score: 1,065and 11 people voted
11Between Shades of Gray by  4.34 of 5 stars
 4.34 avg rating — 37,608 ratings
12Grey Wolves (Henderson's Bo... by  4.26 of 5 stars 
4.26 avg rating — 892 ratings    score: 1,061and 11 people voted
13The Prisoner (Henderson's B... by  4.32 of 5 stars 
4.32 avg rating — 658 ratings
14Summer of my German Soldier by  3.62 of 5 stars 
3.62 avg rating — 10,311 ratings
15The Winged Watchman by  4.09 of 5 stars 
4.09 avg rating — 552 ratings  score: 884, and 9 people voted