Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bertie's War by Barbara Tifft Blakey

Summary:
"Everything has been going wrong for Bertie lately.
No matter how hard she tries to do and say the right thing, Bertie keeps tumbling into embarrassing--and sometimes dangerous--situations. Her stern father has too many rules, her know-it-all sister won't stop teasing her, and her mischievous younger brother keeps getting into trouble. But what makes her really afraid are those Communist missiles pointed right at the U.S. As Bertie starts seventh grade in the fall of 1962, news of these missiles throws the nation into a panic and Bertie suddenly feels completely out of control. Can Bertie confront an ugly truth about herself and face her fears--once and for all?"

Author: Barbara Blakey is a freelance writer and the author of the award-winning literature-based language arts program Total Language Plus. Barbara is also a nationally recognized speaker, conducting workshops and seminars for Christian women's groups and homeschooling conventions for more than fifteen years. She lives in Olympia, Washington, with her husband, Terry.

My Thoughts: As I began reading this book, I was struck by the fact that fear of things beyond our control is a common theme throughout history. One of Bertie's big fears is that she and her family will die from being bombed by the Cubans. I immediately wondered how many of our children live in fear of terrorism and, like Bertie, are too fearful to share this with their parents. This thought made me read the story in a different light, almost comparing her life with those of children today, and I came away thinking it would be a good read for children who could identify with her struggles.

This is a "slice of life" story. There is no big adventure or quest to be completed. It's merely the story of Bertie and how she perceives and deals with her family and her life. She is not always a sympathetic character, but she is always very real. The time period came alive for me and I found it very easy to imagine myself in Bertie's young mind. The writing was solid and the ending was not overdone. I actually really enjoyed the ending, as it didn't wrap everything in a neat little bow but did provide character growth and encouragement in her struggles.

Will this go on my shelf as a must read for my own children? Probably not, but I do think it would make a good addition to a study of this time period and is worth the read.

Bertie's War is available for $7.99 from Kregel Publishing.

*Disclosure: I received this book at no cost for review purposes.*

2/52




1 comment:

Michelle said...

I had very similar impressions of this book, but I think you stated your thoughts better. :)

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