Eddie's War

Overview

World War II. Hitler is threatening to take over the world. Eddie Carl thinks America should stop him-it's just plain right. But Eddie's just a kid, and the farm in Ellisville, Illinois, is a long way from the fighting.

Ellisville: where the big news stories are gophers in the graveyard and the new bank alarm. But then America joins the war and Eddie's brother Thomas goes off to fly a bomber. Suddenly the war doesn't seem so far away. And Eddie faces more grown-up problems at ...

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Eddie's War

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Overview

World War II. Hitler is threatening to take over the world. Eddie Carl thinks America should stop him-it's just plain right. But Eddie's just a kid, and the farm in Ellisville, Illinois, is a long way from the fighting.

Ellisville: where the big news stories are gophers in the graveyard and the new bank alarm. But then America joins the war and Eddie's brother Thomas goes off to fly a bomber. Suddenly the war doesn't seem so far away. And Eddie faces more grown-up problems at home: A fire at the Strothers' place, and his gypsy friend accused of arson. Grampa Rob, all stubborn and mean. Grama Lucy with her secrets. And that redhead Sarah, who definitely likes him-unless maybe she hates him. Somehow Eddie's in the middle of it all, trying to figure out what's right. Let Thomas fight World War II. Eddie's war is right here in Ellisville.

Eddie's War is a lyrical collection of prose vignettes linking Eddie, his family, and a small-town cast of Ellisvillians. Poignant and funny, this World War II story tells how a distant war affects the life of one boy in the Heartland.

A Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ellen Welty
Eddie Carl is a child when World War II starts in Europe. Growing up on a farm near the small town of Ellisville, he has more to think about than a war half a world away. The only person in town who seems to be interested in the war is Josef, a gypsy who serves as a farrier to the farmers in the community. Things change when the US is attacked—all at once the older boys, including Eddie's brother, are all talking about enlisting. When Thomas goes off to fly a bomber Eddie has a lot to take care of on his own. His Granpa is a bully and his Grama has a secret. Josef is accused of setting a fire that costs a family its home and Eddie is the only one who believes that he didn't do it. Red-haired Sarah seems to like him sometimes and not to like him other times. How Eddie copes with the accusations against Josef, standing up to his Granpa, suffering the loss of one of his friends and figuring out his feelings about Sarah make a satisfying read. Free verse vignettes will appeal to reluctant readers. Compare to Robert Cormier's Frenchtown Summer or Rick Beck's Necking With Louise. Very highly recommended. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
Kirkus Reviews

In her first outing for children, Saller (The Subversive Copy Editor, 2009) provides a poignant look at boyhood before and during the long years of World War II.

The novel in verse is a well-worked concept, but this effort infuses new life into a genre that's become almost trite. Eddie, just 5 years old as the story begins in 1934, lives contentedly in the glorious shadow of his older brother, Thomas. A few brief vignettes capture the flavor of the pre-war years, as Eddie befriends Jozef, an immigrant his Grama calls a gypsy, who carefully scans newspapers at the library, looking for the only word he can read: the name of his home in Poland, where his wife and son still live. Eddie comes to idolize his brother's friend, Gabe, always the most reasonable of the older boys. Eventually, Thomas and Gabe enlist as the United States enters the war, and Eddie and his parents face the trial of never knowing if Thomas will live to come home. Prejudice against Jozef forces Eddie to make a hard choice to save the beleaguered man. In spare language and remarkably short sketches, carefully selected details effectively portray well-rounded, interesting characters, from Eddie's abusive grandfather to his evolving love interest, Sarah.

Much more an emotionally resonant coming-of-age tale than a war story, this will be an easy sell for those seeking a quick, excellent read. (Historical fiction. 11 & up)

Bankstreet Best Books of 2012
Beautifully written prose vignettes. (Outstanding Merit)
Horn Book
Beautifully phrased and vividly revealing of character... An authentic window into the past that recalls the narrative power of Karen Hesse's verse and the moral debate in Mary Downing Hahn's Stepping on the Cracks.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Saller's poems build from finely delineated episodes of no immediately apparent weight into a cumulative portrait of a tightly interlocked community... Reminiscent of Betsy Byars' Keeper of the Doves.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608981083
  • Publisher: namelos
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Pages: 206
  • Age range: 11 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Fisher Saller grew up not far from Ellisville in the bigger city of Peoria. She now lives in Chicago, where she is a senior manuscript editor at the University of Chicago Press and editor of the Chicago Manual of Style's online Q&A. She doesn’t have a dog, but is a writer anyhow; her last book was The Subversive Copy Editor.
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