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Don't You Know There's a War On?
HarperCollins, 2001
story behind the book
reviews, awards, honors
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Don't You Know There's a War On?

World War II is on everyone's mind and in every headline, and Howie Crispers has a hunch that his school principal is a spy. With a little snooping around, Howie finds out something even more alarming. Principal Lomister may not be a spy, but he is plotting to get rid of Howie's favorite teacher.

Howie's dad is fighting Nazis overseas, and his mom is working hard to support the war effort, so Miss Gossim is the only person Howie can depend on.

With the help of his friends, and a plan worthy of radio show superhero Captain Midnight, Howie intends to save Miss Gossim!

Story Behind the Story

One day my youngest son Jack—I think he was in fifth grade—came home from school: “We’re studying World War Two,” he announced, not very happily. “And I have to find someone who was alive back then and interview them. How am I ever going to find anyone?”

“What about me?” I asked.

“You?”

“I was around then.”

“You were? You’re that old?” These words were expressed with a mix of disbelief and awe and maybe shock. read more

Awards and Honors:

Children's Choice nominee, Oklahoma
Children's Choice nominee, Missouri
Children's Choice nominee, Virginia

Review

Children’s Literature:

“Howie is an honorable and likeable kid who stumbles on a secret that’s just too good to keep, though he tries mightily. His voice is fresh with the wholesomeness of 40s slang and the ageless irreverence of just being a boy.  Especially well crafted are lifelike dialogues that zip with brevity and wit that will keep readers grinning. As Howie schemes to prevent the firing of his favorite teacher, readers will discover how different it was growing up in the wartime 40s and delight in the things that have remained the same in 2001.”

 
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