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Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/15/2016 An American private’s experiences as interpreted in letters home to his 10-year-old brother offer a slice of life during WWII. Beginning and ending with letters from the younger boy, the remainder cover June 1942 to June 1944 and are written from the soldier’s perspective while he’s posted in Britain. Large print and simple phrasing are supported by the older brother’s age-appropriate storytelling, making this a good choice for reluctant readers. An afterword notes the importance of soldiers’ letters as historic documents providing wartime information that would otherwise be missing from political histories, and while these are fiction, they do indeed emulate the realism of a working-class soldier’s thoughts and observations as well as accurately portraying what he might encounter during his service. Both brothers’ concerns vary from the mundanity of everyday life to the threat of mortal danger, but Nobleman always steers clear of melodrama. A good option for readers not quite ready for Chris Lynch’s WWII series. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2016 Gr 3–6—In a series of letters home to his younger brother, Charlie, Joe describes life as an American soldier stationed in England during World War II. "War is just life with bigger bullies," he writes, encouraging Charlie to stand up to his tormentors, and sharing his own struggles working alongside a bully. He writes about the mud and rain, details of civilian life like rationing and blackouts, and a dog the soldiers adopt. When Joe and his bully are sent on a secret assignment, Joe faces risks that threaten the mission and his life. Except for letters from Charlie that bookend the story, the exchange goes one way, with Joe referring to Charlie's letters to fill in details of life back home. The format removes readers from the action and creates emotional distance. The approach of this high-interest, low-level book creates a story appropriate for younger readers but lessens its appeal as an action-packed war novel. The book is historically accurate beyond the license the author takes, and acknowledges, about how much information about D-Day preparations the censors would have allowed. - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.