Diaries

The Journal of Hélène Berr

By David Bellos, translator

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The joyful but ultimately heartbreaking journal of a young Jewish woman in occupied Paris, now published for the first time, 63 years after her death. In 1942, Hélène Berr, a 21-year-old Jewish student at the Sorbonne, started to keep a journal, writing with verve and style about her everyday life in Paris--about her studies, her friends, her growing affection for the "boy with the grey eyes," about the sun in the dewdrops, and about the effect of the growing restrictions imposed by France's Nazi occupiers. Humiliations were to follow, which she records, now with a view to posterity. She wants the journal to go to her fiancé, who has enrolled with the Free French Forces, as she knows she may not live much longer. She was right. The final entry is dated February 15, 1944, and we now know she died in Bergen-Belsen in April 1945, within a month of Anne Frank and just days before the liberation of the camp.

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What Was Christmas Like During the Civil War?

Present-day Christmas conjures memories of snow, lighted trees, cinnamon, gifts, parties, and music. If we lived during the Civil War, what kinds of memories would we have? Would they be of family, food, warmth, and parties, or would they be of just trying to survive and stave off hunger? Would there be presents under the tree, or would we be happy just to be present with our loved ones. To learn a bit more about Christmas during the years 1861-1864, explore the items in the library and the Web sites listed below.

In the Library:

White House Diary

By Jimmy Carter

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"The edited, annotated diary of President Jimmy Carter; filled with insights into his presidency, his relationships with friends and foes, and his lasting impact on issues that still preoccupy America and the world. Each day during his presidency, Jimmy Carter made several entries in a private diary, recording his thoughts, impressions, delights, and frustrations. He offered unvarnished assessments of cabinet members, congressmen, and foreign leaders; he narrated the progress of secret negotiations such as those that led to the Camp David Accords. When his four-year term came to an end in early 1981, the diary amounted to more than five thousand pages. But this extraordinary document has never been made public; until now. By carefully selecting the most illuminating and relevant entries, Carter has provided us with an astonishingly intimate view of his presidency."

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Stravinsky: Chronicle of a Friendship

By Robert Craft

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Robert Craft was Stravinsky's closest friend during the last twenty-three years of the composer's life. He kept detailed diaries which provide a glimpse of Stravinsky's life, work and social circle. The greats of twentieth century music, art and literature make appearances throughout this book as they interact with the great musical innovator.
Also available as an eBook.

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The Diary

By Eileen Goudge

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When the two grown daughters of Elizabeth Marshall discover an old diary of their mother's in her attic, it comes as a shock to learn that the true love of Elizabeth's life was not their father. (Catalog summary)
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Go Ask Alice

By Anonymous

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In the 35 years since its original publication, this acclaimed, bestselling diary-format account of a teenage girl's harrowing descent into the nightmarish world of drugs has left an indelible mark on generations of teens readers.
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Rachel's Journal: the Story of a Pioneer Girl

By Marissa Moss

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In her journal, Rachel chronicles her family's adventures traveling by covered wagon on the Oregon Trail in 1850. J Fic Mos
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Witch Child

By Celia Rees

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In 1659, fourteen-year-old Mary Newbury keeps a journal of her voyage from England to the New World and her experiences living as a witch in a community of Puritans near Salem, Massachusetts.

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Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States

By Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick McKissack

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Uses slave narratives, letters, diaries, military orders, and other documents to chronicle the various stages leading to the emancipation of slaves in the United States.

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Early Sunday Morning: The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows

By Barry Denenberg

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In her diary, twelve-year-old Amber describes moving to Hawaii in 1941 and experiencing the horror of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Part of the Dear America series.
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