Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cold War on Maplewood Street by Gail Rosengren

Cold War on Maplewood Street by Gail Rosengren

This book is about the Cold War, and a time in history that was strained and terribly frightening for many American families. Joanna's brother, Sam, is on a Navy ship headed straight for Cuba while it is in the throes of a missile crisis. Making friends with the Soviets was a way of protecting their land, the unfortunate weapon of choice one that could annihilate and level entire masses of people and land. Missiles being sent by the Soviet Union threaten to wreak nuclear havoc upon the people of the US, and Cuba, should the United States retaliate with nuclear weapons themselves. Joanna cannot bear the thought of her brother Sam being in the middle of that chaos. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy reading this book as the timeline unfolds like the pages of a history book. In addition, this book is aptly timed to inform children about what it means to be living in a time when nuclear threats are an every day occurrence, and when nuclear talks are essential to keeping these kinds of threats from approaching our shores. Joanna ultimately learns that sometimes, you have to break promises and leave the people you love behind. A hopeful story about living in a world of uncertainty. 

Cold War anxieties play out in a sensitively told story set during the Cuban missile crisis in the 1960s, perfect for fans of Gary Schmidt and Kristin Levine. 
Joanna can’t get over how her brother broke his promise to never leave like their dad did. Sam is thousands of miles away on a navy ship, and no matter how often he sends letters, Joanna refuses to write back. When she makes a promise, she keeps it.
But then President Kennedy comes on TV with frightening news about Soviet missiles in Cuba—and that’s where Sam’s heading. Suddenly Joanna’s worries about being home alone, building up the courage to talk to a cute boy, and not being allowed to go to the first boy-girl party in her grade don’t seem so important. Maybe sometimes there are good reasons to break a promise.
The tense timeline of the Cuban missile crisis unfolds alongside a powerful, and ultimately hopeful, story about what it means to grow up in a world full of uncertainty.

Happy reading! 

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