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Willow Run Paperback – February 13, 2007
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7–Meggie Dillon, 11, candidly shares her perspective on the sacrifices and fears experienced on the homefront during World War II. The girl's family moves from Rockaway, NY, to Willow Run, MI, so that her father can work in a plant constructing B-24 bombers. Meggie is a likable, realistic, fleshed-out character, introduced in Lily's Crossing (Delacorte, 1997). In this current offering, she deals with moving away from all that is familiar to her to live in far less comfortable conditions. Her brother, Eddie, is in the army. Her grandfather is a German American, and when older boys paint a swastika on his window, she bravely tries to chase them away. Though she has found her grandpa annoying in many ways, once the Dillons move to Willow Run, Meggie misses him terribly and realizes that despite his many quirks, she loves him dearly. With the news that Eddie is missing after the invasion at Normandy, she springs into action to bolster her family's hope for his safe return. She and her friends become convinced that the ice-cream man must be a spy because he isn't fighting in the army. They use their suspicions to steal from him, an act that leaves Meggie feeling extremely guilty. Giff's engrossing, heartwarming story will help readers understand how personally war affects people.–Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
*Starred Review* Gr. 4-6. Introduced as Lily's friend in the Newbery Honor Book Lily's Crossing (1997), Margaret "Meggie" Dillon now experiences World War II on her own. "For the duration" is how the adults talk about the war's deprivations, whether they are referring to eating Spam or to the Dillons' makeshift housing in Michigan, where Meggie's father has moved the family in order to take a job building planes. Meggie desperately misses her home in Rockaway, and German-born Grandpa, who was left behind. Still, sometimes she's glad he stayed home: it was Meggie who wiped the swastika from his window and heard the culprits say that anywhere else he would be jailed. Giff artfully carves the sentiments so prevalent in times of war--anxiety, inspiration, boredom--into sharp relief while creating a cast of finely drawn characters (the kind of people Meggie would never have met had she stayed home), each with his or her own worries, fears, and hopes. Many story lines are threaded neatly together here, but what has happened to Meggie's brother, Eddie, who is fighting overseas, remains unknotted at the end. Tough and tender, this is an excellent addition to World War II shelves. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
World War II is one of my favorite time periods, it is true, and this piece dedicated to that era gives a wonderful peek into what it was like to live during that time. The writing, as always, was very relate-able and the characters were endearing. I fell in love with Meggie and her family and greatly enjoyed her character development. Though this book is a companion, it works perfectly as a stand-alone as well.
*SPOILER* Although I was severely disappointed that it ended before we could find out what happened to Meggie's brother Eddie, it just goes to show how much it meant to me to find out! I even went back to Lily's Crossing to see if his fate had been mentioned there and I had just missed it!
I would recommend this book to anyone of any age. I commend the author, Patricia Reilly Giff, for writing a story that moved me so much. It doesn't often happen. Thank you, Mrs. Giff, for this book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a look at life during the war.Read more
After finishing its "companion" novel, the wonderful Lily's Crossing by...Read more