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100 DAYS AND 99 NIGHTS by Alan Madison


by Alan Madison & illustrated by Julia Denos

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-316-11354-0
Publisher: Little, Brown

Second-grade army brat Esmerelda Swishback McCarther knows all about duty. Uncle Sam has moved her family to Korea, then Kenya, then Germany, before finally depositing them back in the “good ol’ U. S. of A.” Then one day, during their Saturday morning pancake-making ritual, her father breaks the news that he will be gone on a tour of duty for 100 days and 99 nights. Though Esme is glad that the family doesn’t have to move again, she is dismayed at the thought of being without her father. The 100 days turn out to be difficult ones, as do the 99 nights, which are filled with nightmares. To get through them, Esme gets her second-grade class involved in home-front efforts such as a scrap-metal drive and riding their bicycles to and from school to save gas. Although the humor is occasionally off-the-mark and the narrative as a whole is sometimes heavy handed, Madison provides a serviceable and much-needed vehicle for discussing military life and the psychological effects of war on families, particularly children, in modern-day America. (Fiction. 8-12)