World War II has invaded Davy Bowman's home-front boyhood. There's an air raid drill in the classroom, and being a kid is an endless scrap drive. His brother, Bill, has joined up, breaking their dad's heart. It's an intense, confusing time, and one that will invite Davy to grow up in a hurry. Still, Richard Peck is a master of comedy, and even in this novel of wartime uncertainty, he infuses his tale with humor: oddballs and rascals and boyhood misadventures alongside the poignant moments. This is one of Richard Peck's very finest novels - a tender, unforgettable portrait of the World War II home front and a family's love.
"Chock full of eccentric characters and poignant moments, this coming-of-age novel will be embraced by children and grownups alike." (Publishers Weekly)
"No one does nostalgia better than Peck, and this episodic story of a boy's life on the home front just before and during World War II is a charmer." (Booklist)
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Rich Homefront History
Richard Peck is a masterful storyteller. His "memories" of the tiniest moments are rich with sensual detail. Follow an after dark game of Kick the Can with a dad carrying his small son through the back yards and gardens of the small town and you are there.
The main character explains what life in a small town was like during World War II with his adored older brother off fighting the war. Every character is beautifully drawn and the boy's inner thoughts reflect the difficulties of the time. I really enjoyed the information about rationing and collecting scrap for the war effort, things I'd heard about but not fully grasped until I heard this book.
I've read other books of this type, but this one is head and shoulders above them in the quality of the writing. The narration was mesmerizing--I felt as though I was sitting on the narrator's lap and he was whispering in my ear.
- JoEllen Arnold