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On the Home Front: Growing Up in Wartime England Hardcover – June, 1998

4.8 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her first book, Stalcup offers an adult perspective and anecdotal account of life in the rural town of Lydney, England, during WWII. Only four years old when England declared war on Germany in 1939, Stalcup cobbles together her own memories with those of neighbors and friends for this slow-moving and spotty chronicle of the war's military progress and its repercussions. The author recalls some interesting highlightsAan irritable teacher and several evacuated children from suburban Birmingham and London take up temporary residence in her home, her mother sews thick black curtains for protection from potential nighttime air raids, German and Italian POWs arrive to work on local farmsAbut does not recount them with the target audience in mind. Young readers must wade through a great deal of personal, often superfluous detail here (e.g., "English men were worried that with the Yanks now based in so many towns, the supply of beer would soon be gone!"), and in other instances must make sense of convoluted asides (e.g., "Since Hitler's ideal Germans were fair-skinned and blond-haired, the Nazis were suspicious of anyone with dark hair or skin, often making the assumption that they were Jewish"). Without a narrative through-line to recommend it as recreational reading, and with uneven pacing that creates a challenge for researchers (the year 1942 is covered in two chapters, 1940 gets eight), it's hard to pinpoint a readership for this one. Ages 8-11.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up-The author of this mesmerizing, beautifully written book was a three year old living in the English town of Lydney, Shropshire, when issued her first gas mask in September of 1938. A year later, Great Britain was at war with Germany. Told from a child's point of view, the story vividly brings to life Stalcup's world through the end of the war in May of 1945. In a straightforward and highly readable manner, she relates how her childhood was shaped by these historical forces. At first, the war "suddenly seemed rather wonderful to me," Stalcup states, for she soon had evacuees from Birmingham and London living with her family, children her own age to play with. She describes the changes that occurred in her family because of rationing, her father's service in the Home Guard, her mother's knitting for soldiers, blackouts, and the fiery destruction of nearby Bristol. Combined, they present a picture, albeit somewhat idealized through the filter of memory, of a family and a people coping as best they could under difficult circumstances. Personal and archival black-and-white photographs and a glossary of British English are included. This memoir could serve as a companion to Michael Kronenwetter's London (Crestwood, 1992).
David A. Lindsey, Lakewood High and Middle School Libraries, WA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 91 pages
  • Publisher: Linnet Books (June 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0208024824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0208024824
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,172,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Stalcup shares her memoir of growing up in the town of Lydney, England, during World War 11. Ann stays with her parents and experiences war as it comes to her community with evacuees, German prisoners, Australian food packages, and American soldiers. Short, succinct chapters, enhanced by personal and archival photographs, make this a book to be savored as a read aloud or when read independently. Stalcup imparts the flavors of every day English life such as four o'clock tea, sweets, walks in the country, and the pleasures of a front garden, and how they are changed by a world at war. She retells moments of her life, from the age of three in 1938 with her first gas mask to V.E. Day in 1945. This factual memoir complements historical fiction titles such as Pearson's The Sky is Falling, Bawden's Carrie's War, Heneghan's Wish Me Luck, and Garrigue's All the Children Were Sent Away. Stalcup takes the reader's heart and mind into various events sharing humor, fear, courage, and community spirit. Thoroughly researched facts in combination with thoughtfully remembered experiences, make this compelling account a great starting point for curriculum dealing with war and a welcome addition to children's and youth's nonfiction collections. This first book of Stalcup's shows the beginning of a new children's writer with great potential.
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Format: Hardcover
As I listened to Mrs. Stalcup's book, "On the Home Front," I was sucked into a world of Spitfires, Hurricane Bombers, and the Little Ships bringing soldiers from Dunkirk to Dover. Tears were shed when soldiers were lost in battle, and there was rejoicing when a major battle was won. I saw blood, I saw tears, and I saw glory.
It was quite an experience for my classmates and me. We had an author reading her book. Sometimes she would choose a student to read certain chapters because they were so emotional for her, such as the Little Ships and the Spitfire Funds.
It was an amazing book about a young girl who was living during World War Two. But the most amazing paart about it was who was reading it - the little girl from the book!!!!!
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Format: Hardcover
Mrs Stalcup, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading "On the Home Front." My wife got it in the mail a few days ago and I pounced on it and read it that evening. The subject is one in which I am very much interested and I found your book extremely informative, well-written and the most interesting I have ever read on the subject. Thank you!
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