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Cold War on Maplewood Street Hardcover – August 4, 2015
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—Joanna, a sixth grader, is a normal girl living an ordinary life with the usual tween concerns in 1962. Her overblown, fear-filled imagination causes her to think that a new elderly neighbor is a witch with evil intentions. She imagines that a loud noise means a burglar might be breaking into her apartment. Played against her active imagination is the very real threat of nuclear war. She's concerned for her older brother who is in the Navy and whose ship might be part of the U.S. blockade of Cuba. Unfortunately, Joanna's personal story isn't enriched by larger context or details about the Cuban missile crisis. Her constant fearful responses to radio and newspaper reports, while understandable, will not translate to readers unfamiliar with the historic events. VERDICT An additional purchase, best used after reading a nonfiction account of the Cuban missile crisis.—Lillian Hecker, Town of Pelham Public Library, NY
Praise for Cold War on Maplewood Street
“A quietly tense story set during the Cuban Missile Crisis. . . . [Joanna] learns how to muster courage during a time of accelerated, unwanted change. Rosengren’s judicious use of details evokes a strong sense of the 1960s, and while some readers will already be aware of how history played out, they’ll find it easy to share Joanna’s feelings of nervousness, helplessness, and hope.”—Publishers Weekly
Praise for What the Moon Said
“Rosengren’s depiction of the Great Depression from a child’s perspective rings true. . . . Sensitive and engaging.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“The story triumphs in its small vignettes.” — School Library Journal
“Esther’s positive attitude offers a fine model for readers of this engaging historical fiction.” —Booklist
A Junior Library Guild Selection
Top customer reviews
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I held my copy after receiving it, wanting to read it during the weeks of the actual CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS in 1962. At that time I could have been in the same classroom as her characters, living with the same adolescent concerns, thrown into the same terrifying fears about the nuclear clock ticking seconds away from "midnight".
If you don't know what that means, this is a book that will bring it all to life, with heart and relationships and plot that will make the experience as unforgettable to you as it is to me. Then investigate the history, too. Please, read her book, sooner rather than later.
A rich, deeply touching story of family and friendship amidst a national crisis. Highly recommend!
The cover: Beautiful and relates to the book with the boat and the letter it's made from. Perfect!
What deeply impressed me about this book?
1. We get a solid understanding of what the experience was like while the Joanna talks about her difficulties with her mom, her relationship with her brother Sam, and her crush on a boy. These things are so relatable, that the history blends in and you forget you're reading about a MGer in the 1960s. The contemporary feel is a definite plus!
2. I love the teachers and how they are "real" in their actions/behavior. It's was so cool to read about Home Ec. I think MGers will get a kick out of learning about the classes Joanna took at school.
3. Joanna's brother Sam is in the Navy and on the front lines during the crisis. Her fears for her brother are so relatable for anyone who's had a friend, family member or acquaintance who has served in the US Armed Forces today. So well done!!
4. I love the letters back and forth between Sam and Joanna. They add a richness to the story that kids will love.
5. Adults are presented with their own hopes and fears. Joanna's best friend goes through issues that reflect the same issues kids face today. This too, adds a richness to this novel.
6. The crush is so realistic and relatable. Not overdone or overblown. It's subtle and not obnoxious. It's middle grade swoon!
7. The old neighbor Mrs. Strenge is quite the character. She adds great interest to the story. Who doesn't have someone like this living in their neighborhood? With a cat! Loved it.
8. The air raid drills in the middle school were very realistic. Sadly, kids will be able to relate to this because they have drills in case a gunman comes into their school. Different times, very similar drills and fears.
9. I loved the description of the bomb shelter Joanna set up and what took place in the grocery stores - a run on food supplies.This happens today before a hurricane or horrible storm, perhaps not too this extent, but definitely something that kids can understand.
Overall, COLD WAR ON MAPLEWOOD STREET is a must for anyone who reads middle grade, teaches middle grade, or is a middle grade librarian.
[Disclosure: I am a former high school teacher. I bought this book.]