Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ranee` Reviews: MY SECRET WAR: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck by Mary Pope Osborne

So maybe you've noticed some changes going on here at Mommy Authors. Like reviews. This is a first for one of my posts, and I'm excited. In fact, I picked MY SECRET WAR especially for this, because one, I don't read middle grade often, and two, we're Mom's and Authors. We all need book recommendations for our kids, because of course, we'd like to make them readers too!

Title: My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck
Age: Middle Grade
Length:  179 pgs. w/ additional facts

From Amazon: Thirteen-year-old Madeline's diaries for 1941 and 1942 reveal her experiences living on Long Island during World War II while her father is away in the Navy.

The Rating: ****

The Good
I love World War II stuff. I do. I'm still a history geek at heart and get some of my greatest ideas from listening to a fun podcast called "Stuff You Missed In History Class." (You may already know I based my last NANO novel on the French Revolution, but that's a story for another day.) I don't read middle grade books often, though that's a fact I expect will change as my genius 6yo (no seriously...) continues to progress in his love of books, but I'm glad I ran my finger over this one. I was always a big American Girls fan (remember those??) so this is right up my alley. It is a cute, fun glimpse into the life of an average girl during World War II. It includes some fantastic insight as well as some heart-pumping action. (About half-way through I couldn't put it down.) I loved the "family" that is central to the story, and all the small things that make their lives tick and sometimes stop ticking. 

The Bad
It was a little hard for me to get into at first. As I mentioned above, once I got about half-way through I couldn't put it down, but it did take that long to work into the real meat of the plot.

The Recomendation
If you've read "The Magic Treehouse" series with your kids and swore you'd never read anything of Mary Pope Osborne's again (okay, I'll admit right here, I have a prejudice. I can only take so much "Jack said, this" and "Annie said, that.") don't let it keep you from reading this book, especially if you have an itch for things historical and entertaining.

Content: Can I say, "Mild theatrical elements" and will you know what I mean? (Maddie faces some scary guys one night on a beach. Again, it's middle grade and told from the POV of a 13 yo., so not really scary, only mildly so.)

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