Sunday, January 29, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Eddie's War by Carol Fisher Saller

About The Book: "Eddie’s War by Carol Fisher Saller shows us the impact of WWII on a farm boy in the Heartland. True and tender."—Nikki Grimes
World War II. Hitler is threatening to take over the world. Eddie Carl thinks America should stop him-it's just plain right. But Eddie's just a kid, and the farm in Ellisville, Illinois, is a long way from the fighting.

Ellisville: where the big news stories are gophers in the graveyard and the new bank alarm. But then America joins the war and Eddie's brother Thomas goes off to fly a bomber. Suddenly the war doesn't seem so far away. And Eddie faces more grown-up problems at home: A fire at the Strothers' place, and his gypsy friend accused of arson. Grampa Rob, all stubborn and mean. Grama Lucy with her secrets. And that redhead Sarah, who definitely likes him-unless maybe she hates him. Somehow Eddie's in the middle of it all, trying to figure out what's right. Let Thomas fight World War II. Eddie's war is right here in Ellisville.

Eddie's War is a lyrical collection of prose vignettes linking Eddie, his family, and a small-town cast of Ellisvillians. Poignant and funny, this World War II story tells how a distant war affects the life of one boy in the Heartland. —Goodreads

First Line: In town Thomas pulled me by the hand
                       through the books.

One Awesome Passage: 
I shook his hand, stomach churning.
Don't do it. Don't go.
The thought of him going—
my heart hammered,
but somewhere in me 
a thrill
deep as I'd ever known.

What Others Are Saying: “In spare language and remarkably short sketches, carefully selected details effectively portray well-rounded, interesting characters. . . . Much more an emotionally resonant coming-of-age tale than a war story, this will be an easy sell for those seeking a quick, excellent read.” —Kirkus Reviews, Best Children's Books of 2011
 “Beautifully phrased and vividly revealing of character . . . an authentic window into the past that recalls the narrative power of Karen Hesse’s verse and the moral debate in Mary Downing Hahn’s Stepping on the Cracks.” —Horn Book

What I Thought: I have thoroughly enjoyed Saller's sensitive story of friendship and growing up during the 1940's. This historical fiction is easy to read, yet it's laced with deep moral issues that bring great appreciation for that time in history. I would highly recommend this as a companion to the study of WW2 because the insight into what middle grade kids were talking about and their thoughts about war. Making comparisons and correlations would lead to some great discussions. It has inspired me to take some time to find out about my father-in-law's childhood. He lost a brother in the war and I would love to be able to share those priceless stories with my children. 

About The Author: Carol Fisher Saller
FacebookTwitter: @CFSaller
Publisher: namelos
The Chronicle Lingua Franca

Who: Carol Fisher Saller grew up in Peoria, Illinois, and as an adult moved around for some years before settling in Chicago. She works as a manuscript editor at the University of Chicago Press, helping to edit and maintain The Chicago Manual of Style and copyediting scholarly books. Her work as editor of the CMOS online led to writing The Subversive Copy Editor.

Interested in learning more about Carol and the creation of this book. Join me for an interview and Giveaway on March 28th! If you have any specific questions for her, leave them in your comments.

Be sure to stop by the other MMGM bloggers in my sidebar.


  1. I'd love to read this. I'm a big fan of verse novels. Is that what this is?

  2. GREAT review! I love the "awesome passage" you included. Sounds like a very powerful story. :-)

  3. My favorite way to process any type of history is through story, so I know I will love this. And since I haven't heard of this one, I'm excited to add it to my to-read list.

  4. Yes, this is a verse novel and I found the literary melody satisfying and lyrical.

  5. I'm with Barbara...I am not a history fan but love when it is told through a story...this looks like an awesome book!

  6. I agree with Barbara about historical fiction. I don't think I'll like it so much until I get into the awesome story. Thanks for sharing about this.

  7. Why haven't I heard about this book before? Sounds amazing. Another MG historical fiction verse novel to add to the growing list, including OUT OF THE DUST and MAY B. Any others?

  8. Thanks for sharing this one. I have an awesome pile of historical fiction growing now!


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