Author: Bustard, Anne
France sends the Merci Train to the United States to thank America for helping France during and after WWII, and one of the train stops will be the small town of Gladiola, Texas, where ten-year-old Glory Bea hopes for the greatest miracle--that her missing-in-action father will be on the train.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 511727
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2020 Gr 3–6—A post–World War II story about a spirited small-town girl and her pursuit to welcome her father home. Glory Bea believes she is called to be a matchmaker. Grams already has 39 miracle matches to her name, so why shouldn't Glory Bea strive for the same? If things go as planned, the happy-ever-after between her best friend Ruby Jane and neighbor Ben will be miracle number 40. But Glory Bea also has a secret miracle in the works: bringing Daddy home from the front. They say he was lost in action at Omaha Beach, but Glory Bea doesn't believe it. After all, Daddy promised that he would return. When it's announced that the Merci Train—a train filled with gifts from the people of France—will roll through Gladiola, TX, Glory Bea is convinced it's a sign. Now all she must do is prepare for Daddy's homecoming, kindle romance between her two friends, and keep Mama from falling in love again. This is an endearing story that skillfully addresses loss, love, and hope. Weaving together small-town charm and friendly antics, Bustard cleverly integrates a history of the Merci Trains with a young girl's desperate desire to see her father again. Despite the emphasis that three years have passed since the end of the war, readers should watch for a few anachronisms that might challenge the image of the 1940s that most textbooks underscore. VERDICT This snapshot of a unique time in American history will inspire young readers and convince them that dreams are worth fighting for.—Rebecca Redinger, Lincoln Park Branch, Chicago Public Library - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/01/2020 Though it’s been several years since her father went missing while fighting overseas during WWII, fifth-grader Glory Bea still believes he’ll come home to Gladiola, Texas, where she lives with her mother and grandparents. Then, Randall Horton, who served with her father, unexpectedly visits, which Glory Bea decides means her father’s returning, too. As Gladiola plans for a visit from the “Merci Train”—a French-sponsored thank-you to America for wartime support—Glory Bea tries to deter the developing relationship between her mother and Mr. Horton, while secretly preparing for what she’s sure is her father’s impending arrival. Eventually, Glory Bea must face and accept difficult truths, bringing sorrow but also understanding about compassion and adapting to change. Glory Bea’s first-person narrative, interwoven with historical details, offers an intimate account of grief and longing, tempered somewhat by lighter moments like her attempts to fix up a friend and a neighbor, and by the inclusion of interspersed newspaper gossip columns. Readers will find Glory Bea, and her process of moving forward through loss, sympathetically drawn. An endnote provides background information and a bibliography. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.