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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Catch You Later, Traitor Companion Booktalks

To get you started on the Bookstorm™ Books …

America in the 1950s cover  

America in the 1950s

Edmund Lindop with Sarah Decapua
21st Century Books, 2010

  • Topic-centered chapters, e.g.: the transition from WWII, the Korean War, the 50’s economy and society, the Red Scare

  • Photo-illustrated

  • Report material galore, including substantial back matter

Bat 6 cover


Bat 6

Virginia Euwer Wolff
Scholastic, 1998

  • In rural Oregon not long after WWII, the annual softball game between 6th grade girls from two towns is a cauldron of secrets, simmering racism, class divide, hope and friendship.

  • Quick-reading, multiple-viewpoint narrative shared by all the girls and some adults provides a “you are there” report of the big event

  • Jane Addams Peace Award, an SLJ Best Book of the Year

Belles of the Ballpark cover  

Belles of the Ballpark: Celebrating the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

Diana Star Helmer with Thomas S. Owens
Summer Games, 2015

  • The 1992 film A League of their Own is now a generation old and possibly unknown to many young students; this book is perfect for those just discovering the women’s-league topic or for fans of the film that want to know more

  • Detailed league history from its origins during WWII, through its 12 seasons

  • Loads of photos and many interviews

Catch a Tiger cover  

Catch a Tiger by the Toe

Ellen Levine
Viking Juvenile, 2005

  • It’s 1953 in New York, and 13-year-old Jamie’s father IS a communist; life changes

  • Communists in the ‘50s were often very involved in civil rights actions; this novel explores the relevance of that connection to the “witch-hunting” and finger-pointing

  • Author’s note and additional back matter

City of Spies cover  

City of Spies

Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan
illus by Pascal Dizin
First Second, 2010

  • It’s 1942 and the world is at war, and in New York 10 year old Evelyn has the run of the city; adventure ensues in this graphic novel

  • Visual blend of old-style-American comics (Evelyn reads them and draws her own) and updated European (Tin-Tin) visual storytelling

  • Seeing the enemy everywhere—a great current topic for discussion and a terrific narrative backbone for a mystery

Cold War cover  

Cold War

Josepha Sherman
Lerner Publications 2004

  • Begins with historical background on the “rise of the superpowers,” including a brief rundown on both the US and Russian revolutions and the partitioning of Europe during and after World War II.

  • Strong photo illustration

  • Back matter includes glossary, timeline of Cold War events, maps, and reading list

Fabulous Fashions cover  

Fabulous Fashions of the 1950s

Felicia Lowenstein Niven
Enslow, 2011

  • 48-page overview of the fashion era

  • Photo illustrated, with reproductions of actual 50s advertising

  • Glossary and fashion timeline in back matter

Green Glass Sea  cover  

The Green Glass Sea

Ellen Klages 
Viking Books, 2006

  • And you think your family has a secret… A novel about growing up in the shadow of the Manhattan project

  • Set in 1943, provides context for why the Soviet Union and communism would loom as such a foe in the 1950s

  • Scott O’Dell Award for historical fiction


Discovered Poetry cover  

How I Discovered Poetry

Marilyn Nelson
illus by Hadley Hooper
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014

  • Childhood memoir—fictionalized—in poems, each set in the years 1950-1959

  • Illustrations and black and white photographs expand the “curb appeal” for the reader wary of poetry

  • Coretta Scott King honor book

LIFE cover  

Life: Our Century in Pictures for Young People

edited by Richard B. Stolley
adapted by Amy E. Sklansky
Little, Brown and Co., 2000

  • Before, during, and after the 1950s. Great context for study and discussion of the decade

  • Introductory essays for each decade written by notable children’s authors, including Lois Lowry, Patricia and Frederick McKissack, Avi, and Katherine Paterson.

  • Illustrated with photos from the Life magazine archives

Francine cover  

The Loud Silence of Francine Green

Karen Cushman
Clarion Books, 2005

  • Communism, the Red Scare, injustice; also, friendship and being 13

  • Detailed and unusual setting (1950 Los Angeles, a Catholic school) with many cultural reference students will enjoy exploring; discussion guide  

  • Newbery medal author

Spy cover  


Richard Platt  
DK Eyewitness Books, 2009

  • History of spying with many bios of famous spies

  • Gadgets galore

  • The usual DK magic potion of well-done visuals and text

Played for Nothing cover  

We Would Have Played for Nothing: Baseball Stars of the 1950s and 1960s Talk About the Game They Loved

Fay Vincent
Simon & Schuster, 2008

  • Interviews with some of baseball’s best players from the 1950s and 1960s

  • Second installment of the author’s project, an oral history of baseball; interested readers can go back to Volume 1 (1930s and 40s) or jump to Volume 3 (1970s and 80s)

  • Illustrated with period photos  

One Response to Catch You Later, Traitor Companion Booktalks

  1. Joanne Toft November 19, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    Reviewing this sections makes me wish I was back in my 5th grade classroom. So much for students to use for learning. Thanks for making these connections!

Leave a Reply to Joanne Toft Cancel reply

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