Posts tagged ‘Pearl Harbor’

FROM CALMNESS TO CHAOS

War on a Sunday Morning (Home-Front Heroes)

Written by Teresa R. Funke

I really enjoyed this narrative told from the point of view of a thirteen-year-old girl whose life changed forever on the morning of the Pearl Harbor attack. Rose is part of a military family recently transferred to Oahu from San Diego, California. She is missing her friends and still adjusting to life in Hawaii. Her father is assigned to the USS Oklahoma. Rose has an older brother, Lee, who constantly harasses her. She is spending the morning sketching the boats in the harbor. After a morning spent with her new neighbor, Leinana, a meeting up with a Japanese classmate, and an evening of music competitions, the stillness of the following Sunday morning, is broken by an aerial attack.

Suddenly, life on the island is shattered. Rose, her family, and neighbors are placed in terror mode. Families wait to hear about their loved ones, the Japanese are rounded up. No one knows whom to trust and communication lines are broken. The author does a wonderful job of portraying the fear, uncertainty, and human suffering, as well as developing the humanity of the individuals that are affected by the tragedy.

I would certainly recommend the book to young adult and adult audiences. The author targets the book for audiences age nine and older. This book would be an excellent choice for homeschooling parents or teachers of World War II history.

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STEPPING UP – John Bloom and the Victory Garden Book Blitz

John Bloom and the Victory Garden

Written by Leigh Shearin

Art & Design by Katie Shearin

VictoryGarden,pic

I used to live in a house that still had remnants of a World War I victory garden popping up between the flowers so I was immediately drawn to this book. So glad that I picked it up this historical fiction tale.

Shearin does an amazing job of capturing the spirit of the three main characters and best friends, ten year olds, John, Joe, and Chewie. The story opens in Appleside, NJ, a small town on December 6, 1941. These three boys and their families will suddenly find their lives turned upside down when Pearl Harbor is attacked and their country enters World War II. The author makes the setting authentic by mentioning things like sitting around the old radio and Fireside Chats of FDR, Life magazine, the 5 & 10 Cent store, and popular games like horseshoes and marbles. These boys spring to life with antics like chewing on their collar, secret door knock signals, and pranks like filling grumpy, Mr. Hutchins’ outhouse with snow. Some things never change; there are the typical classroom hijinks and even incidents of bullying.

When the war breaks out, the boys decide to form a club in an effort to help the war effort. They call it the ABC Club. Recognizing the injustice of rounding up Japanese, German and Italian nationals, they fear the loss of friends in their community. A grumpy neighbor morphs into a new friend when their kindness toward him leads to an unexpected change of circumstances and a new avenue of patriotism.

Middle grade students will empathize with these boys and the difficulties they encounter in adjusting to frightening circumstances. Recommended for children ages nine and older. This is a well-written book with developed characters and plot and is a compelling read for adults as well. Next year’s sequel will continue the story as the course of the war unfolds.

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