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Tough Times: A Novel Hardcover – October 15, 2007
The Amazon Book Review
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In an America gripped by the deepening Depression, high-school senior Joey Singer and his immigrant family live in a tenement in Worcester, Massachusetts, where his father struggles to keep his window-washing business going. Joey rises at 2 a.m. to deliver milk, and then heads to school, where a wonderful teacher encourages him. As the economy worsens, Joey and his father join the demonstrators of the Bonus Army. Violence erupts with tragic results, and Joey becomes part of the throngs of homeless young people riding the rails. Meltzer direct, unadorned prose here, letting the power of his personal experience lend strength to the novel, which evokes the fear, humiliation, and despair suffered by millions. The plight of the veterans and the story of the Bonus March are drawn with particular poignancy. Occasionally, devices for providing historical background feel forced, but Joey's strong voice makes this a valuable addition to the historical-fiction shelves, and an excellent choice for low-level high-school readers. Rutan, Lynn
The fast-paced plot and the history brought to life will make this a memorable story for its audience.
It's the Great Depression, jobs are scarce, and Joey Singer's immigrant family is struggling. . . . Useful for social studies classes studying the period. A historical note is included.
School Library Journal
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The book gives the reader a look at how tough life really was back then. the only thing I did not like about the book was some of the mature themes. The violence was graphic and at time the relationships between the characters were given too many details. Parents should pre read the book and decide if their child is ready for the material.