In 1944, when her brother is overseas fighting in World War II, eleven-year-old Margaret changes her mind about the school bully, Gordy, after she discovers he is hiding his own brother, a deserter.
Most WW II homefront novels are unambiguous in their approach to patriots and traitors, allies and enemies. Hahn's subtle, thought-provoking work, however, proposes the legitimacy of a variety of ethical responses to critical situations. Margaret's brother Jimmy is overseas fighting, and Margaret and her parents avidly follow news of Allied advances. She and best friend Elizabeth, united in their dislike of Gordy the bully, slowly uncover several ominous secrets: Gordy is helping his older brother Stuart, an Army deserter, hide in a weatherworn shack in the woods; and Gordy's father batters his mother, his siblings and Gordy himself. At first Margaret and Elizabeth see their discovery of Stuart's shack as a way to ``blackmail'' Gordy into treating them decently, but when Stuart falls dangerously ill, the girls feel obliged to help care for him. Soon they begin to reexamine the standard propaganda about the war. While some of her characters seem anachronistic and certain developments are unlikely, Hahn succeeds in raising questions as valuable as they are vexing. Ages 9-12.
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One of my favorite
Mary Downing Hahn is my teacher’s favorite author and has a collection of books!She is even reading stepping on the cracks with the class and I love it so much!!!💖💖💜❤️💙💚💛🧡❤️🧡💛💚💙💜
I haven't read this book in years, but as a child it was one of my favorites! Every word I read I could imagine the scenery in my mind. I've tried to find it for so long and I'm so happy it's on here! I'd love to read it to my step daughter. :)
Please, please read!
The first time I ever read this book was in 6th grade. Ever since then, I have read this book almost every year (except 7th grade). I cannot tell you how amazing this book is. It's been 7 years now and I still learn something new each time! As a child I related to the characters age wise. As a teenagers I understood why bullies were the way they were. And now, as a young adult, I see the historical aspect. I strongly recommend that you read this book no matter how old or young you are! Thank you Mary Downing Hahn for writing this amazing book!