For the Duration: The War Years (26 Fairmount Avenue Series #8)


Tomie keeps hearing the phrase, 'For the duration.' Gas is being rationed 'for the duration.' The Fourth of July fireworks will be the last show 'for the duration.' So many things will be different as long as the war goes on, but much of Tomie's life goes on as usual. He's excited about starring in a dance recital, taking the bus around town all by himself, and having his first Communion. But Tomie is also still getting over his cousin's death in the war, and he has to say good-bye to his uncle as he ships off to...

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For the Duration: The War Years

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Tomie keeps hearing the phrase, 'For the duration.' Gas is being rationed 'for the duration.' The Fourth of July fireworks will be the last show 'for the duration.' So many things will be different as long as the war goes on, but much of Tomie's life goes on as usual. He's excited about starring in a dance recital, taking the bus around town all by himself, and having his first Communion. But Tomie is also still getting over his cousin's death in the war, and he has to say good-bye to his uncle as he ships off to basic training. And then he has a run-in with some bullies and his brother doesn't even help him out. Luckily, Tomie knows there are a lot of people he can count on for the duration.

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Editorial Reviews

[P]erfectly mixes big war news with daily battles at school and at pictures capture the action and emotion.
Children's Literature - Jean Boreen
As the book opens, the spunky eight-year-old is still grieving over the death of his beloved cousin, Blackie, and trying to understand why his older brother, Buddy, is always so mean to him. The majority of the book is simply the general day-to-day of Tomie's life, and this is what makes it a special and fun read for elementary-aged readers. We watch as Tomie revels in being chosen to star as Neptune in the neighborhood dance recital and how he approaches the more grown-up challenge of handing the bus on his own. He also has to watch another family member go to war and tries to understand, as only a child can, why the war is necessary. This eighth book in the 26 Fairmount Avenue Book series picks up in May, 1942, as Tomie, the main character, continues to deal with the reality of World War II and its impact on his and his family's lives. This is another charming book addition to the series and is sure to be a hit with the middle-elementary crowd. Reviewer: Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—In May 1942, while the school choir practices the Air Corps song, young Tomie reflects on his cousin's war-related death and goes home in tears. This event triggers a change in his relationship with his brother Buddy that, along with the news that his Uncle Charlie will be going into the Army, casts a shadow on the second grader's year. Throughout the time period covered in this book, the boy hears the phrase "for the duration," which he comes to realize refers to more than just rationing. References to contemporary film and music stars (Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rodgers, etc.) set the book firmly in the early 1940s. Upbeat events include a dance recital, where Tomie shines as King Neptune; the citywide art exhibit at his school; and First Communion preparation. Early chapters begin with diary entries, but the diary soon disappears. Tomie finds the ruined journal by the book's end, and wonders sadly why his brother Buddy is so mean. dePaola's style and word choices are just right for his audience, and the point of view is consistently that of a second grader. Full-page and spot art black-and-white pencil drawings and silhouette art by the author illustrate this must-read title for fans of the series.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399252099
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/30/2009
  • Series: 26 Fairmount Avenue Series , #8
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 680,436
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola
Tomie dePaola is the artist and author/ artist of more than two hundred books for young readers. He was awarded the Smithson Medal, the Regina Medal, and was designated a "living treasure" by the state of New Hampshire. Most recently, he is the first author known primarily for children's book writing to be awarded the Sara Josepha Hale award, a prestigious distinction in writing by a New Englander. He lives in New London, New Hampshire.


Born in 1934 into a large extended Irish/Italian family, Tomie dePaola received his art education at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute and the California College of Arts & Crafts. Although he always wanted to create children's books, he spent several years applying his talents to the fields of education, theater, and graphic design. In the mid-1960s, he received his first commission to illustrate a children's science book. A year later, he published his first original picture book, The Wonderful Dragon of Timlin. Today, he is one of the most prolific -- and beloved -- author/illustrators in children's literature.

In addition to illustrating stories by other writers, DePaola has created artwork for collections of poetry, nursery rhymes, holiday traditions, and folk and religious tales. But, he is most famous for books of his own creation, especially Strega Nona ("Grandma Witch"), the beloved story of an old woman who uses her magical powers to help the people of her small Italian village. Written in 1975, this Caldecott Honor winner is still delighting children today.

DePaola admits that there are strong autobiographical elements in many of his books (Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs, The Art Lesson, Stagestruck), but nowhere is this more evident than in 26 Fairmount Avenue, a series of charming chapter books based on his Connecticut childhood. Taking its name from the address of his family home, the series captures the experiences and emotions of a young boy growing up in the late 1930s and early '40s in the shadow of World War II. The first book in the series received a 1999 Newbery Honor Award.

DePaola and his work have been recognized with many honors, including the Smithsonian Medal, the Kerlan Award for "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal, and several awards from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. In 1999, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts bestowed on dePaola the Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award for the body of his work.

Good To Know

  • Tomie dePaola's name is pronounced Tommy de POW-la.

  • Between college and graduate school, dePaola spent a short time in a Benedictine monastery before determining that religious life was not for him.

  • Using a combination of watercolor, tempera, and acrylic, dePaola's artistic style is best described as folk-traditional.

  • DePaola's favorite painters and strongest artistic influences are Matisse, Giotto, and Ben Shahn.
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    Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
    • Anonymous

      Posted November 21, 2011

      Boo yah

      This is awsome and funny

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