From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7-This simple narrative about a father who goes to war in Vietnam unfolds in spare free verse. Told from a child's point of view, the story is hauntingly universal: "I don't want to forget what you look like," her daddy says as he is departing. Although he reassures his family that a year will pass quickly, and that by the time he returns she will be seven and in the second grade, the girl thinks: "I did not tell Daddy that he was wrong- that second grade was half a hallway and a whole world away from first, -and that one year was forever." The daily rituals hold the mother and her children together: walking to the post office, watching Roger Mudd on the news, nightly prayers. There is tension in the novel when the father's letters stop, but the celebration at the end as he steps off the plane will have readers rejoicing, too. This is a tender, insightful story from a perspective too often ignored-that of a soldier's child.Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 2-5. In this spare novel written in free verse, a first-grade child speaks of the year her father is drafted to serve as a doctor in Vietnam: saying goodbye, missing him, watching the news of war, reading his daily letters home, and then the terror when his letters stop coming because, "They have / no idea / where he is." In the end, he does come home, and the intense family reunion at the airport is both joyous and a reminder of those who have not returned. Always true to the six-year-old girl's voice and viewpoint, the small poems express her personal experience and also provide a glimpse of the war at home as the anti-war demonstrators move from party fun to anger and sorrow. The time is 1967, but kids will recognize the parallels with soldiers serving now. With very few words on a page, this small book is an accessible read-aloud as well as a good cross-curricular title for middle-school units on the 1960s. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved