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JIMMY’S STARS by Mary Ann Rodman Kirkus Star


by Mary Ann Rodman

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: May 7th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-374-33703-2
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

In this beautifully crafted story about World War II on the home front, 11-year-old Ellie McKelvey is terrified of losing her beloved brother Jimmy when he is drafted and the family hangs a blue star service flag for him. Promising to return for Christmas, Jimmy asks Ellie to keep the tree up until he comes home. Devastated when Jimmy does not come home, Ellie prays for Jimmy even as neighborhood friends receive fateful telegrams from the military. Refusing to accept the news of Jimmy’s death in the D-Day invasion, Ellie faithfully waters the decaying Christmas tree and poignantly pleads with God to make the telegram a mistake. Disbelief turns to anger, and Ellie rips down Jimmy's gold star service flag. Acceptance comes when a final letter from Jimmy reminds Ellie that he will always be with her. Ellie’s intense outpouring of grief is masterfully portrayed, and Rodman’s painstaking attention to historical detail creates a vividly realized sense of time and place. Readers will find this emotionally gripping story of love and loss profoundly moving. (Fiction. 9-12)