Monday, March 3, 2014

Spring Reading 2014 Across a War-Tossed Sea

Charles and Wesley Bishop have been evacuated from England during World War II. They are staying with the Ratcliff family in Virginia because their father had saved Mr. Ratcliff's life during WWI and he wants to repay him. The story covers the period from Labor Day 1943 to just after D-Day. It is historical fiction that manages to weave in many of the details from that time such as mandatory blackouts on the Atlantic coast (to prevent ships being spotted by U-boats), rationing of goods, recycling for the war effort, etc. But the story also has everyday life in it like studying for tests, dealing with bullies, helping with chores, and telling ghost stories around a campfire.

The different viewpoints in the story help the reader see what the war was like for Americans, British children who were sent to America, and a little of what German POWs experienced here in the States. Weaving all of that together in an interesting story and still including things like the segregation and inequality that African Americans and Native Americans were dealing with in those days is quite an achievement. This is a good book to include in a unit on WWII or to read if you enjoy historical fiction. The facts about the war are accurate without going into gory details and additional information is included in the back matter. The author has a trailer for the book that features vintage photographs from the war.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. It will be published on April 1, 2014.


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