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World's Fair Paperback – May 1, 1996
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From School Library Journal
YA The 1930s was a turbulent time for America: the Great Depression, left-wing politics and the growing concern over the rise of Hitler in Europe. As seen through the eyes of nine-year-old Edgar Altshuler, these events provide a backdrop for the more intimate story of his own family and how they coped while living in the Bronx. They serve a symbolic purpose as well as a historical one. On his first visit to the fair, Edgar is enthralled by industry's vision of the futuresafe, secure and prosperous cities, speedy and cheap transportation and modern invention to make life easier. On his second visit, he sees that the exhibits are constructed of gypsum whose paint is peeling and that the displays are really toys. Reality has altered Edgar's perceptionshe is growing up. Edgar's chapters are randomly interspersed with his mother Rose's recollections and a few by his older brother Donald to give a seemingly simplistic view of life that is actually a rich narrative of history, political and personal values and points for discussion. A remarkable book for perceptive readers. Diana Hirsch, PGCMLS, Md.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
"Something close to magic." The Los Angeles Times
The astonishing novel of a young boy's life in the New York City of the 1930s, a stunning recreation of the sights, sounds, aromas and emotions of a time when the streets were safe, families stuck together through thick and thin, and all the promises of a generation culminate in a single great World's Fair . . . --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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Edger Altshuler is a young jewish boy growing up in the Bronx, NY during the time of the depression. World's Fair is his story.
E. L. Doctorow, you did a great job of bringing to life the 1939 World's Fair and all it's glory! I'm going to give you four stars!
Fun Fact: "E. L. Doctorow was born in the Bronx, New York City, the son of Rose (Levine) and David Richard Doctorow, second-generation Americans of Russian Jewish descent who named him after Edgar Allan Poe."
Well written, really get to know the chacters and how and why they relate to each other. Would recommend this book.
This is my third book written by Doctrow, RagTime and the March. Favorite is Rag Time.
A grown man reviews his childhood with mostly pleasant thoughts and a scattering of unhappier memories. The story is easy reading and nice choice if you want a break from heavier reading. There is a nice mix of families - struggling couple, single mom, and upper class.
I hope that when I am Doctorow's age I will be able to summon up the wealth of memory detail he does. The images are authentically pressed from a the mind of a child not yet 12 years old. There are things that a child notices that an adult would not, such as how he likes how a particular door latch works or details from favorite comic books.
From there the narrative effortlessly moves to other characters in the story, written in the form of letters to the author. Everything is in place, and all of it wonderful to read.
This should be standard reading for any high school.