Why? The War Years

Why? The War Years

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 I

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:
9781101042427
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
07/31/2008
Series:
A 26 Fairmount Avenue Book , #7
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
96
Sales rank:
809,578
Lexile:
770L (what's this?)
File size:
6 MB
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a
family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of
Arts&Crafts in Oakland, California.



It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.



He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major
influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his
field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library
Association's Regina Medal for his "continued distinguished contribution," and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.



Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different
countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.



Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.



- He has been published for over 30 years.

- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.

- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.

- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.



Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition for
his books in the children's book world, including:


- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association

- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association

- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution

- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal

- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association



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

Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a
family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of
Arts&Crafts in Oakland, California.



It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.



He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major
influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his
field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library
Association's Regina Medal for his "continued distinguished contribution," and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.



Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different
countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.



Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.



- He has been published for over 30 years.

- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.

- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.

- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.



Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition for
his books in the children's book world, including:


- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association

- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association

- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution

- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal

- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association



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

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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