The Night the Bells Rang

( 2 )

Overview

While the adults talk endlessly about the war overseas, Mason fights his own battles at home with a mean bully named Aden. But then Aden surprises Mason with an unexpected act of kindness. Finally, on the night the bells ring-and World War I ends-Mason lays an old enemy to rest. Readers will identify with ...
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Overview

While the adults talk endlessly about the war overseas, Mason fights his own battles at home with a mean bully named Aden. But then Aden surprises Mason with an unexpected act of kindness. Finally, on the night the bells ring-and World War I ends-Mason lays an old enemy to rest. Readers will identify with this timeless story about a boy's coming-of-age.

"This quiet, affecting coming-of-age story... realistically evoke[s] life in another time and place." -The Horn Book

Awards for The Night the Bells Rang:

( An American Bookseller "Pick of the Lists"
( A Child Study Children's Book Committee Children's Book of the Year

The last year of World War I is an eventful one for Vermont farm boy Mason as he helps with the chores, tries to get along with his little brother, and sees an older bully go off to the war.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-- It is 1918, and Mason finds that the new year isn't much different than the old in his rural Vermont community. The adults are still talking about the war overseas, but Mason's biggest problem is closer to home: the bully Aden Cutler. Frustrated and helpless to fight back against the older, larger boy, Mason wishes that Aden were dead. Then Aden joins the army, and he never comes back from the war. In its examination of a young boy's feelings of guilt over another's death, the book has echoes of On My Honor (Clarion, 1986) by Marion Dane Bauer, but without that novel's power. Mason's guilt is not so much because he believes that wishing for Aden's death made it happen, but because he never thanked Aden for one small, unexpected act of kindness. In a subplot that runs counterpoint to Mason's relationship with Aden, he also has to deal with a little brother whom he views as a pest. Even when railing against the injustices of the bully's actions, Mason seems oblivious to the fact that he treats his brother in the same manner. By the end of the year, and the book, Mason has matured, reevaluated his treatment of his brother, and repaid Aden's kindness with a simple gesture of his own. There are some qualities to recommend this book, but it tries to cover so much in so few pages that it lacks impact. Readable, but ultimately not very memorable. --Susan M. Harding, Mesquite Pub . Lib . , TX
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780141309866
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Series: Chapter, Puffin Series
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 976,489
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.03 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

"I grew up on a dairy farm in a region known as Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, along with one sister and three brothers in an area our Scottish ancestors settled almost two hundred years ago.

"Since graduating from Johnson State College Vermont with majors in both art and athletic training, I have worked as a coach, trainer, energy auditor for the Extension Service, and most recently as Elderhostel Director and cross-country ski instructor at the Craftsbury Sports Center before turning to writing full-time.

"I have many passions. I am an athlete, naturalist, artist, and a writer, and all of the things I do are rooted in the Northeast Kingdom. I run five to ten miles each morning, cross-country ski, mountain bike, swim, and play tennis. I also played field hockey all across the country for many years. I love the outdoors, and study and sketch birds and wildflowers which are most often the subjects of my watercolor paintings. For the past seven years, my husband, Tom, and I have been building a timber-frame house. We both enjoy working with wood, and Tom shares my love of the land, sports and animals: we have a Morgan horse, five dogs, and eight cats. We love gardening and have planted an orchard of old apple varieties. And I love histories and walking old cemeteries.

"My first children's book, The Canada Geese Quilt, grew out of my love and admiration for my grandmother, Helen Urie Rowell, and a special quilt the two of us made together. My grandmother began quilting when she was in her sixties, and over the next fifteen years she made over 230 quilts. I designed about twenty of them. Most of them are of birds, wildflowers and starry skies, but one is of Canada geese — and that inspired the book.

"My husband and I live in Albany, Vermont, where I am always at work on new books."

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2006

    LIFE IN AMERICA DURING WORLD WAR II

    I liked this book because there are two very unexpected twist to this book. It also shows how hard it was to live back during that time period, to work on a farm and do all of those chores. I think this book is special to everyone who was alive during that time and the fight that they went throgh to defend our country, and how many lives were lost during this time period.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2006

    Life in America during World War II

    I liked tihs book because there are two very unexpected twist to this book. It also shows how hard it was to live back during that time period, to work on a farm and do all of those chores. I think this book is special to everyone who was alive druing this time period exspeaically when they found out that the war was over.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

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