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Children's LiteratureThis reminiscent chapter book by renowned children's author and illustrator DePaola opens on Monday, December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. As adults huddle together and whisper about the implications of the attack, second grader Tomie becomes more scared. The students are released from school early so that they may be home to listen to President Franklin D. Roosevelt speak to the people over the radio. Later, Tomie and his family go to a Catholic church. School routines resume, though differences emerge. The family has a decorated tree at Christmas, but lights hung outside are allowed on for only a few hours each night. His mother makes dark curtains to put over the windows at night to make sure no enemy planes can target their home, and his uncle readies to join the military. The twelve chapters capture the mood and the day-to-day life of a child in a country at war in a matter-of-fact yet reassuring way. This is the sixth book in the "26 Fairmount Avenue" series. The first, 26 Fairmount Avenue, was a 2000 Newbery Honor Book. Other books in the series include On My Way and Things Will NEVER Be the Same. 2006, G.P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Young Readers, Ages 7 to 10.
—Valerie O. Patterson