Why?: The War Years (26 Fairmont Avenue Series #7)

Why?: The War Years (26 Fairmont Avenue Series #7)

by Tomie dePaola
     
 

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The latest addition to the Newbery Honor award-winning 26 Fairmount Avenue series.

World War II is raging in Europe, and Tomie finds that life has changed in many ways. Now he has to wear an extra sweater to school because they're trying to conserve coal. Then tragedy brings the war home to the dePaola family, and all Tomie can do is ask 'Why'? Just as he did in

Overview

The latest addition to the Newbery Honor award-winning 26 Fairmount Avenue series.

World War II is raging in Europe, and Tomie finds that life has changed in many ways. Now he has to wear an extra sweater to school because they're trying to conserve coal. Then tragedy brings the war home to the dePaola family, and all Tomie can do is ask 'Why'? Just as he did in I'm Still Scared, the first installment of The War Years, Tomie dePaola touchingly illuminates the emotional confusion of a child's life during wartime.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
Tomie DePaola is young and scared in this title, part of the "26 Fairmount Avenue Book" biographical series. The book begins in January, 1942. The United States has just entered World War II and Tomie's world, while not exactly crumbling, is definitely fraying. The second-grader is told that sugar will be rationed soon, his birthday cake is safe, but bubble gum is no longer available. Heating oil is in short supply so they all wear extra clothes, even overcoats, in school. His favorite adult cousin Blackie, who must be early twenties or late teens, visits to attend a going away party as he ships out for the war. Tomie uses his new diary to good effect: "Dear Diary, Well I am the last one in my class not to lose a tooth. ... Buddy [his brother] said that proves I'm just a baby!" Tomie enlists the help of another cousin to get his tooth out. And so for a moment all is happy. Tomie is growing up as he is supposed to. Then the war breaks in. Blackie is dead, and Tomie is asking why. But like the people who lived through the war, readers will not get a satisfying answer. This is not a book about the whys and wherefores of World War II but it does provide a sense of how WWII impacted this large Irish/Italian family. DePaola's illustrations keep the reader smiling and provide greater depth to the writing.
Kirkus Reviews
The latest in the 26 Fairmont Avenue series, in which the beloved writer and illustrator recounts his childhood in vignettes almost every child can recognize and derive comfort from, turns rather dark as life sometimes does, even for small children. As New Year's Eve becomes 1942, the war seems to touch everything, yet family celebrations and daily life at school go on. There's a wonderful account of a trip to the Armour meatpacking company to pick up Tomie's grandfather's meat for his store. Tomie notices and remembers all the things kids would most like to hear about. He has trouble with penmanship and would rather draw than do arithmetic. He explains, in child's terms, about rationing and hoarding. And it is in his own voice that the story ends with the death of his beloved cousin Blackie, who was shot out of the sky in Europe. It's quite a powerful story, and will give its audience time and space to grapple with the question of the title. (Autobiography. 8-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142411780
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/31/2008
Series:
26 Fairmount Avenue Series , #7
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola lives in New London, New Hampshire.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Connecticut and New Hampshire
Date of Birth:
September 15, 1935
Place of Birth:
Meriden, CT
Website:
http://www.tomie.com/main.html

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