To first-grader Lee, whose father runs a country store, WW II means she no more candy for an afternoon snack--""Because the sugar is used to make candy for soldiers like Uncle Ted."" As the years pass, she helps collect scrap, accepts ration stamps from customers, and writes to her uncle: ""When you come [home] will you bring some candy, please?"" By the time he does, though, Lee has changed: she knows that Uncle Ted is more important than the Hershey Bar he brings. As in The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree (1988), Houston recalls the period through nicely plotted, childlike events. Bloom's mannered, beautifully constructed paintings are pensive, even somber, yet the warm emotions here glow from the shadows. Gentle, evocative.