Things Will Never Be the Same: The War Years (26 Fairmount Avenue Series #5)


Tomie has his own diary with a lock and a key&150now he can write down all his secrets and no one will be able to read them. All through the year, exciting things happen and Tomie writes about them in his diary. Sledding down the steep hill on his new Junior Flexible Flyer, being a pirate in the dance recital, and starting second grade with real art lessons at last! Then one Sunday morning Tomie's family hears news on the radio that changes everything. Master storyteller Tomie dePaola takes us back to 1941 ...

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Tomie has his own diary with a lock and a key&150now he can write down all his secrets and no one will be able to read them. All through the year, exciting things happen and Tomie writes about them in his diary. Sledding down the steep hill on his new Junior Flexible Flyer, being a pirate in the dance recital, and starting second grade with real art lessons at last! Then one Sunday morning Tomie's family hears news on the radio that changes everything. Master storyteller Tomie dePaola takes us back to 1941 and lets us experience what life was like growing up in the dePaola household.

Author-illustrator Tomie De Paola describes his experiences at home and in school in 1941 when he was a boy.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...youthful narration, convincingly childlike sensibility, and irrepressible spirit." (Booklist)
Publishers Weekly
This installment in the series set at 26 Fairmount Avenue finds Tomie enjoying a new sled, going to see Fantasia, celebrating a traditional Italian Easter and struggling to understand what is happening in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. Ages 7-up. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Part of the "26 Fairmount Avenue" series, this memoir allows children to jump back in time to 1941 and experience life through the eyes of Tomie. Tomie, a first grader, who received this journal as a Christmas present, describes for us the everyday events of his life during the year. We read early on about his Saturday afternoon sledding adventures. The best part of the day is the thrill of tying several sleds together to make a "ripper," then speeding down the hill, and tipping out into the cold, powdery snow. Tomie tells us about his trip to the movie theater to see Fantasia, his excitement of rehearsing, dressing up in a pirate's costume for his dance recital, and the fun he and his family have while at an amusement park. In addition to these happenings, Tomie's journal entries introduce us to important events and people of the times. One entry talks about FDR, polio and the March of Dimes. Another entry refers to celebrities such as Mae West, Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. The book ends with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Black-and-white illustrations bring Tomie's journal writings to life. The childlike, pencil-drawn images allow one to believe that it is Tomie, the first grader, who is drawing these as he writes. Excellent as a teaching tool, this book can be used to teach about memoirs, diaries, and letter writing. In a social studies classroom it can be used to look at life during a certain period in our history. Because it is set in Connecticut, this book would be of particular to interest to Connecticut residents. 2003, G. P. Putnam's Sons,
— Cara Mulcahy
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-The fifth installment in the series is delightful. The story starts in January, 1941. Each chapter begins with a diary entry while the first-person text fleshes out the boy's memorable experiences such as a special dance recital, sledding on his Junior Flexible Flyer, and seeing Walt Disney's Fantasia for the first time. DePaola's distinctive black-and-white illustrations add humor and child appeal. The book's title comes from the last chapter in which the author remembers the impact on his family of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Children who remember 9/11 will identify with his feeling that "things will never be the same." A welcome addition to any easy chapter-book collection.-Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Another in the utterly engaging series in which dePaola recounts his own childhood; this one ends on a somewhat darker note. Tomie (whose teachers still insist on calling him Tommy) seems to recall, in pitch-perfect language and tone, just what it was like to be the kid he was. He begins his story in January 1941 with an entry in his new diary and the joys of riding his new Junior Flexible Flyer down a steep hill in his Connecticut town. He tells one of his mother's sledding stories, too; recounts Easter at Nana Fall-River's (and the horrors of car sickness); and being a pirate in the dance recital. When he starts second grade, he is thrilled to have a real art teacher, who understands that real artists don't copy, and they need to use all the colors in the box. Tomie ends on a sober note, however, on Sunday, December 7, 1941, when the adults hear on the news that Japan has attacked Pearl Harbor, and that war has come. His wonderful black-and-white drawings illuminate the text, and there are pages from his diary (with illustrations of their own) included. This child cherished his life-even the scary parts, like the presence of polio or the giant Ferris wheel-and young readers will find enormous resonance with their own experiences across the decades of time. (Chapter book. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142401552
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/24/2004
  • Series: A 26 Fairmount Avenue Book Series , #5
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 340,747
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.85 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola
Tomie dePaola
Best known for his award-winning picture book Strega Nona and for the 26 Fairmount Avenue series of chapter books, Tomie dePaola is one of the most prolific -- and beloved -- author/illustrators in the field of children's literature.


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
    • Posted September 30, 2011

      Highly Recommended-you must check it out!!

      I'm in middle school right now, and my teacher told us to find a memoir, and I went to my local library in Queens. I asked for a memoir, and they found me this book I read the first few pages of the book, and I fell in love with it instantly. I have the book,"Here We All Are" at home, and I absoloutley love that book. When I read this book and I finished it, I read it all over again. The Fairmont Avenue Serie are absoloutley good. Good Books=Fairmount Avenue Series. I love this book!!!

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