100 Days and 99 Nights

100 Days and 99 Nights

4.8 9
by Alan Madison
     
 

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Dad says because of the army he stood shoulder to shoulder with polar bears and watched the sun rise over the frozen fields of Alaska, which sounds really exciting. And because of the Army he slept in sludge, shoulder to shoulder with snakes and watched the sun set over the swamps of Alabama -- which does not.

In a timely, but not politically chargedSee more details below

Overview

Dad says because of the army he stood shoulder to shoulder with polar bears and watched the sun rise over the frozen fields of Alaska, which sounds really exciting. And because of the Army he slept in sludge, shoulder to shoulder with snakes and watched the sun set over the swamps of Alabama -- which does not.

In a timely, but not politically charged way, author Alan Madison looks at the way a family copes with having a parent away on a 100 day, 99 night military tour of duty through the eyes of the very loveable Esmerelda (Esme) Swishback McCarthur. Esme wants to be good while her dad is away. In fact, she feels like it's her duty to be good. But being good can be hard, especially if you have a little brother like Ike. By following Esme's story, as she awaits her father's return, readers will see how heroism can translate to every member of a family.

Aside from the military families that this book serves, readers who wonder what it would be like if their mother, father, brother, or sister was sent away will relate to Esme's quiet strength and candor and will understand her worry about what could happen. This story has the potential to speak to readers on a personal level and to turn a concept that seems so hard to grasp--war--into one that feels much more personal.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 3-5- Esmerelda Swishback McCarther has spent most of her seven years living in four different countries on four different continents with her military family. Arriving back in the United States, she and her brother begin school in a suburb of Washington, DC. Unfortunately, her father must leave for a tour of duty-100 days and 99 nights. Saddened and fearful for him, Esme gives him the precious remnant square from her "blankie" to take with him. While he is away, she struggles to remain dutiful and strong, traits that her family values. Madison authentically portrays the stresses experienced not only at home but also in the classrooms of children whose loved ones are away at war. When Esme and her friend Martina spearhead a project to help the troops by collecting scrap metal, the entire community becomes involved and the news reaches her father, who proclaims Esme a hero. This is a light yet realistic novel about a reality well known to many American families. All branches of the armed forces are featured in some capacity although Esme's father is a sergeant in the Army.-D. Maria LaRocco, Cuyahoga Public Library, Strongsville, OH

Kirkus Reviews
Second-grade army brat Esmerelda Swishback McCarther knows all about duty. Uncle Sam has moved her family to Korea, then Kenya, then Germany, before finally depositing them back in the "good ol' U. S. of A." Then one day, during their Saturday morning pancake-making ritual, her father breaks the news that he will be gone on a tour of duty for 100 days and 99 nights. Though Esme is glad that the family doesn't have to move again, she is dismayed at the thought of being without her father. The 100 days turn out to be difficult ones, as do the 99 nights, which are filled with nightmares. To get through them, Esme gets her second-grade class involved in home-front efforts such as a scrap-metal drive and riding their bicycles to and from school to save gas. Although the humor is occasionally off-the-mark and the narrative as a whole is sometimes heavy handed, Madison provides a serviceable and much-needed vehicle for discussing military life and the psychological effects of war on families, particularly children, in modern-day America. (Fiction. 8-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316033558
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
05/01/2008
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
1,286,147
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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