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Bertie's War Kindle Edition

6 customer reviews

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Length: 192 pages

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Editorial Reviews


"Once again, I make a plug for historical fiction! There is nothing that works better for bringing a time period alive for your students/children than reading a story set in the time period." --Homeschool Reviews with Meredith Curtis

From the Back Cover

Everything has been going wrong for Bertie lately.

No matter how hard she tries to do and say the right thing, Bertie keeps tumbling into embarrassing-and sometimes dangerous-situations. Her stern father has too many rules, her know-it-all sister won't stop teasing her, and her mischievous younger brother keeps getting into trouble. But what makes her really afraid are those Communist missiles pointed right at the U.S. As Bertie starts seventh grade in the fall of 1962, news of these missiles throws the nation into a panic and Bertie suddenly feels completely out of control. Can Bertie confront an ugly truth about herself and face her fears-once and for all?

Barbara Blakey is a freelance writer and the author of the award-winning literature-based language arts program Total Language Plus. Barbara is also a nationally recognized speaker, conducting workshops and seminars for Christian women's groups and homeschooling conventions for more than fifteen years. She lives in Olympia, Washington, with her husband, Terry.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1152 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (March 20, 2009)
  • Publication Date: March 20, 2009
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005DKOV9S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,201,670 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tanya Dennis VINE VOICE on October 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
Roberta (Bertie) tries to follow all the rules and always do the right things, but her imagination often sends her tumbling into embarrassing or even dangerous situations. If she just knew exactly what to do in all situations, she'd never make a mistake and then everyone would love her. But she doesn't know all the rules. There's no way she possibly could! Fear perpetually paralyzes her. She's afraid of failure, of her father, of what others might think. Above all, she's afraid no one is doing anything about the "dirty commies" who want to drop a bomb and destroy them all.

Throughout the book Bertie juggles her fears with learning the ropes of adolescence. Is she too old for playing? Too young for Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen? Is she too silly for her own good? Will she ever gain her father's approval? How can she protect herself? Her family? Will she ever learn to speak her mind without crumbling into a mess of tears and frustration?

Her family offers a solid, Christian backdrop. While they rarely teach her faith in formal ways, they provide consistent examples that spur her on in her personal journey toward knowing and trusting God.

WHAT I LIKE: This is a clean book. Too many YA titles these days involve sex, drugs, witchcraft, vampires and foul language. This one contains none of that. It is a simple coming-of-age book that promotes a virtuous, honorable lifestyle. I like that Bertie's family clearly values strong work ethics while encouraging a healthy childhood.

The last twenty pages were great. I like the way Bertie's father pushed her to think through to the root of her fear and actions. He put the responsibility solely on her shoulders, which is necessary for someone of her age.
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Format: Paperback
Bertie's War by Barbara Tifft Blakey takes the reader on a short trip back in time to the turbulent 60's where Communists and bomb shelters loomed large on everyone's radar. For twelve year old Roberta, or "Bertie", it is a reality that stifles her with fear. But, at age twelve, pretty much everything seems to strike fear into Bertie's heart.

For most of Bertie's life, she has used "pretend" as a way to escape her anxieties, retreating into her imagination to places that are safe and where she can control the outcome. However, as she is maturing, as she is caught in the in-between place of childhood and young adult, she is finding less comfort in her private world of pretend. Or, maybe, the world and its implications are becoming so big, they are encroaching on her ability to be a child. Either idea is something Bertie really doesn't want to contemplate.

Thus the reader finds himself in the trenches of the mind of a twelve year old, a mind with quite a fertile imagination, at an age most of us adults wish to never revisit. Yet, author Barbara Tifft Blakey takes us there with care and tenderness, with honesty and and humor. The lessons learned at such an impressionable age will last a life time for Bertie and help younger readers to see that there is a bigger picture in each situation, that their insecurities, although normal, should not be allowed to define them or have the last say in their character.

My eleven year old could certainly relate to the power of pretend from Berite's perspective; in fact, reading about Bertie sometimes made me think my daughter must have been secretly observed.
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Format: Paperback
Young Roberta (Bertie) is afraid. Sure, she has the normal fears of a twelve-year-old girl: wanting her father's approval, afraid that people will laugh at her, and even a fear of storms. But the terror that overshadows her whole life lately is her fear of the "dirty Commmies," who have set up a few missiles 90 miles off the coast of Florida--on a little island named Cuba. Bertie knows she's not safe way out West in Washington State. The artillery practice from the nearby Ft. Lewis army base rattles not only the windows of her home but Bertie's nerves, as well. How will she survive? Will a bomb shelter in her grandma's basement really keep the dreaded radiation from killing her and her family?

Set during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Bertie's War is a gripping, well-written story of a young girl's coming of age and of her coming to grips with her fears--both real and imagined. The surprising twist at the end--the reason behind her fears--is excellently presented and right on the mark.

Today, as our world is once again thrust into "fear" mode, it's good to see books that show a real character with real character flaws, who works through them in a believable way. Highly recommended!
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