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Bring the whole family to play with Legos

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

For this week’s After School Activities, the whole family is invited to play with Legos! We’ll put out all of our Legos and families can flex their engineering skills in coming up with whatever creative designs and builds they want to show off. After School Activities is a free, weekly program with a different activity every Wednesday. For more information, you can call 575-622-7101, visit the website at http://roswell-nm.gov/405 and like us on Facebook.

Book Talk by Tomás González
Reference Librarian

The book “Caging Skies” by Christine Leunens was recently adapted into a movie called “Jojo Rabbit.” Although they may appear to share the same major plotline, each tells the story in a very different way. “Jojo Rabbit” appears to be a more satirical, humorous story, while “Caging Skies” takes on a darker, more dramatic telling.

“Caging Skies” takes place in the 1940s in Austria during World War II. Johannes lives with his parents and his grandmother. He has a strong loyalty to his country and admiration of the Nazi party and Adolf Hitler. He strongly believes that Germany will prevail in the battle and make the world a better place. Johannes wants nothing more than to grow up and help his country win the war. Although this a fiction book, it gives a well-researched description of what life was like for a young boy growing up in Nazi-occupied Austria, and how life began to change under Nazi rule.

Johannes served in the Jungvolk, a junior section of the Hitler youth, and, when of age, moved to serving in the Hitlerjugend, the full-fledged Hitler Youth. Serving in these parties only strengthened his loyalty and increased his dreams of serving in the elite group of Hitler’s personal guards. All of this came to a halt when his group was helping defend against an Allied air raid. Johannes ran for cover and his next memory was waking up in a hospital bed with his mom crying over him and his father consoling her. Johannes had lost part of his cheekbone, lost movement in his left arm and, on the same arm, had the lower third of his forearm amputated.

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He was now bed-ridden with it taking months for him to heal, leading to him having extended periods to dwell on his injuries, ponder his future, and roam around his house, trying to keep himself busy. With Johannes now being at home more, he noticed how uneasy his parents were, taking up strange routines and walking on eggshells around the house when in his presence. Johannes felt this was his parents trying not to disturb him and the extra food and chamber pots because his grandmother needed extra care.

Noticing these changes, he began to investigate around the house. He noticed something wrong in the wall in the guest room of the house. He worked to pry the wall open and found a young Jewish girl, Elsa, was hiding in the walls. A rush of emotions came to Johannes. How could his parents betray the Nazi cause, his parents were traitors and now he felt he would be viewed the same by the authorities. He then began daily visits to Elsa, and tried to find out more information from her, soon coming to question his preconceived notions taught to him in school about Jewish people. He began to grow affection for her, thought of ways to win her heart, and most importantly, keep his family safe all while World War II played out in the later stages of the war. “Caging Skies” by Christine Leunens is available as an eBook from Overdrive and through the Libby app.