Don't Talk to Me About the Warby David A. Adler
Thirteen-year-old Tommy Duncan just wants to root for the Brooklyn Dodgers and listen to his favorite radio programs. But it's 1940, and the world is about to change. All his friend Beth wants to discuss is the war in Europe. Don't talk to Tommy about that, though. He has more immediate concerns, like Beth starting to wear earrings and his mother's declining health
Thirteen-year-old Tommy Duncan just wants to root for the Brooklyn Dodgers and listen to his favorite radio programs. But it's 1940, and the world is about to change. All his friend Beth wants to discuss is the war in Europe. Don't talk to Tommy about that, though. He has more immediate concerns, like Beth starting to wear earrings and his mother's declining health. The stories of a Jewish friend at school, however, begin to make the war more real to him, and Tommy, like the world around him, is sure to be forever changed.
Thirteen-year-old Tommy lives in the Bronx, NY, and he’s a huge Dodgers fan. But the year is 1940, and there’s more going on in the world than baseball. His friend Beth, on whom he has a crush, follows the war news carefully in the newspapers, and gradually Tommy starts to follow it too. His Jewish friend Sarah, who emigrated recently from Germany, gives him an understanding of the fear and horror people in Europe are experiencing. Meanwhile, Tommy’s mother is experiencing some strange symptoms: her hand shakes, she stumbles often, and her vision is blurred. The diagnosis is multiple sclerosis, and Tommy must take on more responsibilities at home, helping out with shopping and cooking. An epilogue set in December 1941, when Pearl Harbor is bombed, brings home the reality that the war has come to the US. This warm, old-fashioned tale extols the virtues of persisting through difficulties: “I go on because I must go on,” as one character says. Historical fiction fans will enjoy the careful evocation of New York of another era, with radio shows and stickball in the streets, by an author of over 200 books for young readers. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)
Gr 5-7- Thirteen-year-old Tommy's life in the Bronx in 1940 is dominated by the Brooklyn Dodgers and radio shows, while his politically aware friend Beth continually tries to tell him her concerns about the raging war overseas. Newspaper headlines and radio reports reflect Germany's successive invasions across Europe, but Tommy, influenced by his dad's opinion that America should stay out of the conflict, is indifferent to what is happening faraway to people he doesn't know. His simple neighborhood life is overshadowed by worry about his symptomatic mother, who is ultimately diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As his family situation becomes more complicated and distressing, his friendship with Beth, whose mother died of cancer, strengthens. This coming-of-age story introduces the war's particular consequences for Jews through their schoolmate Sarah, who fled Germany with her family. Sandwiched between Beth and Sarah, sensitive Tommy relies on their compassion while trying to maintain a normal male camaraderie with his baseball-loving friends. His appreciation for the world's threatened freedom takes hold as events bring the war closer to U.S. soil. Readers may identify with Tommy's disinterest in politics while going about his everyday life.-Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MICopyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
- Penguin Young Readers Group
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)
- Age Range:
- 8 - 12 Years
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Meet the Author
David A. Adler is the author of more than 175 children’s books, including the Young Cam Jansen series. He lives in Woodmere, New York.
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