Cold War on Maplewood Street

Gayle Rosengren. Putnam, $16.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-399-17183-3
Drawing from her own childhood memories, Rosengren (What the Moon Said) writes a quietly tense story set during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Joanna’s father abandoned her family when she was four, and her older brother, Sam, promised never to leave her. But he joined the navy right out of high school with the aim of seeing the world before going to college on the GI Bill. Joanna is furious, sad, and—lately—fearful, and she stubbornly ignores the letters Sam sends. With her mother busy working and taking night classes, Joanna is left alone in their basement apartment, which is bad for her wild imagination. Joanna’s frustrations and worries include potential burglars, a “strange” elderly neighbor, Sam’s fate overseas, and her mother’s refusal to let her attend her first “boy–girl party,” but she learns how to muster courage during a time of accelerated, unwanted change. Rosengren’s judicious use of details evokes a strong sense of the 1960s, and while some readers will already be aware of how history played out, they’ll find it easy to share Joanna’s feelings of nervousness, helplessness, and hope. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/25/2015
Release date: 08/04/2015
Genre: Children's
MP3 CD - 978-1-68141-340-2
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-14-751409-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-68141-341-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-68141-336-5
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