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TOUGH TIMES by Milton Meltzer

TOUGH TIMES

By Milton Meltzer

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-618-87445-3
Publisher: Clarion

In the 1932 Bonus March, 20,000 World War I veterans converged on Washington, D.C., demanding the cash bonus Congress had promised back in 1924. Joey Singer and his father are there, adding their voices to the call for help during the tough times of the Great Depression. On President Herbert Hoover’s bidding, General Douglass MacArthur orders an attack, and soon, Joey, his father and thousands of others are fleeing the tanks, machine guns, tear gas and cavalry. Joey hits the road, leaving home like so many others of his time. The Bonus March is the heart of this narrative, and Meltzer, basing his tale on his own experience, does a fine job of providing the context of the event as well as a sense of Joey’s parents’ and grandfather’s stories, tying in information about WWI, the Depression, immigration and the pogroms in Europe. Though character development is secondary to the history presented, the fast-paced plot and the history brought to life will make this a memorable story for its audience. (Fiction. 10+)