Thursday, July 14, 2016

Across the Blue Pacific

I came across Across the Blue Pacific: A World War II Storywhile researching age appropriate picture books on World War II for kids. This story appealed to me because it sounded so much like the stories my mother told me of growing up during World War II. This historical fiction account is told from a young girl's perspective, which is why it reminds me so much of my Mom's stories of growing up.

Louise Borden has taken the story of her Uncle Matthew's service and death on the USS Albacore as the basis for Molly's historical fiction account of her neighbor Ted's service and ultimate death. His leave visits and the children writing letters to Ted make for an interesting tale.

I thought there were some fun details included in the story. For instance Ted's Mom gets a Border Collie when her son leaves for war. How women coped alone made for some unique war tales among the women in my family. The dog seemed like a realistic choice based on some of the stories I was told.

While this was a children's story, I did think some details were lacking. Molly and my Mom were similar in age and one of my Mom's strongest memories of the time was coping with rationing. I suspect her neighbor and Molly's families would also have been impacted by this as well. There was no mention of how the war changed the home front, although this book was focused on how people at home were dealing with the challenges of having loved ones away from home.

This book would be a good introduction to teaching children about the home front during this time period. Children often connect well to other children. Reading about how other children lived through historical events can help children relate and connect to a topic. I'd love to see more books written in this style.

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