THIS MEANS WAR! by Ellen Wittlinger


Age Range: 8 - 12
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It’s the fall of 1962. With Soviet missiles in Cuba, a war with Russia seems imminent. Amid community-wide fears of annihilation, Juliet Klostermeyer is experiencing her own personal problem. Her longtime best friend Lowell has decided it is uncool to be friends with a girl. Friendless for the first time, Julia meets Patsy, a spunky Air Force brat new to town. Patsy’s father is a mechanic on the nearby base. When Patsy learns of Lowell’s transgression and his new friends’ attitude that girls are inferior, she suggests a series of tests to prove the boys wrong. As the standoff between Kennedy and Khrushchev intensifies, so does the war between the sexes. When their final test provokes a near-tragedy, both sides come to realize what is really important. The characters are solid and believable, while the dialogue is fresh, poignant and funny. The children’s fear about the end of the world is realistically portrayed, yet Wittlinger never lets it overshadow the good-humored story of friendship. Will appeal to fans of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s The Boys Start the War (1993) and The Girls Get Even (1994). (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 20th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-7101-6
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2010


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