It’s 1943 and the world is in the middle of the war. 11-year-old Ellie McCleavy is devastated when her beloved older brother is drafted. And as if things couldn’t get any worse, he’s drafted right before the Christmas holiday. He tells his little sister to “keep the tree up” and Ellie deals with her aching heart by hanging on tight to his promise he’ll make it back home for Christmas. The holidays come and go, and though Jimmy doesn’t come home, Ellie keeps the tree up along with her hopes he’ll be home soon.
This book is perfect if you’re in the market for a 1940’s era WWII novel. It is thick with 40’s cultural icons and lifestyle – the reading experience is a time warp with convincing descriptions and characters. The references to Lana turner, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and war bonds were several decades before my time, but I still enjoyed it all just the same. The story flowed nicely and though it could have been a major tearjerker, the author handled the tragedies of the war respectfully. There are a zillion possibilities to enhance your reading experience, check back with me tomorrow and I’ll fish up a few recipes and some vocabulary words from the book – anyone in the mood for some salmon pea wiggle?
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