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WHY? THE WAR YEARS by Tomie dePaola


by Tomie dePaola & illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-399-24692-4
Publisher: Putnam

The latest in the 26 Fairmont Avenue series, in which the beloved writer and illustrator recounts his childhood in vignettes almost every child can recognize and derive comfort from, turns rather dark as life sometimes does, even for small children. As New Year’s Eve becomes 1942, the war seems to touch everything, yet family celebrations and daily life at school go on. There’s a wonderful account of a trip to the Armour meatpacking company to pick up Tomie’s grandfather’s meat for his store. Tomie notices and remembers all the things kids would most like to hear about. He has trouble with penmanship and would rather draw than do arithmetic. He explains, in child’s terms, about rationing and hoarding. And it is in his own voice that the story ends with the death of his beloved cousin Blackie, who was shot out of the sky in Europe. It’s quite a powerful story, and will give its audience time and space to grapple with the question of the title. (Autobiography. 8-12)