cover image A Long Way to Go

A Long Way to Go

Zibby O'Neal. Viking Children's Books, $11.95 (64pp) ISBN 978-0-670-82532-5

These two books mark the debut of the Once Upon America series, presenting segments of American history to middle readers through the eyes of a young person of the time. A Long Way to Go takes place during the tumultuous days of women's suffrage: Lila, eight, sees the conflict in her own family as her grandmother, a fervent supporter of the vote for women, clashes with Lila's traditionalist father. Gradually drawn into the debate, Lila manages to convince her father of the injustice of inequality and is allowed to march in a suffragist parade. In Hero Over Here the scene shifts to the deadly flu epidemic of 1918. Feeling left out because his father and older brother are off fighting the war, Theodore is soon faced with a battle of his own when his mother and sister come down with the illness and he must nurse them by himself. In a propitious beginning to the series, both stories breathe color and life into subjects all too often relegated to an uninteresting unit in a social studies curriculum. Pictures not seen by PW. Ages 7-11. (May)