Thirteen-year-old Tommy Duncan just wants to root for the Brooklyn Dodgers and listen to his favorite radio programs. But it's 1940, and the world is about to change. All his friend Beth wants to discuss is the war in Europe. Don't talk to Tommy about that, though. He has more immediate concerns, like Beth starting to wear earrings and his mother's declining health. The stories of a Jewish friend at school, however, begin to make the war more real to him, and Tommy, like the world around him, is sure to be forever changed.
David A. Adler
Adler, David A.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
As more and more schools emphasize basic math and language arts skills, most students are rarely exposed to historical content. Historical fiction is an ideal way to bridge this gap and learn about previous eras. Don’t Talk to Me About the War, takes middle level readers on a journey back to life in America during World War II. Tommy Duncan and his teenage friends share the latest happenings after reading newspaper stories and listening to the radio. These tidbits of information derive from actual newspaper stories and radio shows. Thus, the novel provides excellent insight into this time period on multiple levels. Facts surrounding 1940s baseball are also sprinkled throughout the story. Readers will instantly be able to compare today’s acquisition of information with the limited access in the 1940s.
As America tries to decide its future role in the war, Tommy gradually becomes more aware of what is happening overseas. His perspective expands beyond the confines...
In an engaging and realistic piece of historical fiction, David A. Adler spins the tale of Tommy, a 13-year-old boy living in New York City on the brink of World War II. Tommy, like most of his classmates, would much rather worry about baseball scores, neighborhood stickball games, and his crush on pretty Beth than fuss about the fighting happening all the way across the ocean.
Unfortunately, the war is all that Beth wants to talk about these days, despite Tommy’s protests that he doesn’t want to hear about it. After all, he’s convinced that he has more important things to fill his head with, not the least of which is his mother’s rapidly deteriorating health. How could battles in Europe possibly be more important than the things happening on his own doorstep?
As the story progresses, of course, the war begins to affect Americans more and more, and Tommy begins to see its influences at work: a friend’s brother is enlisting in the...
Thirteen-year-old Tommy Duncan is a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, plays stickball with his pals, and meets his friend Beth at Goldman's diner every morning before school. There is one other thing that is important to him: "Don't talk to me about the war. It's across the ocean, and I haven't even been to Long Island and that's just over the bridge. What I mean is, the war's so far away and we're not even in it, and anyway, it's all Beth talks about, so if there's any war stuff I should know, she'll tell me."
But the war isn't the only thing occupying Tommy's attention. His mother is growing increasingly weak, her vision blurs, sometimes her hands shake, and she tends to drop things. Tommy and his father are understandably worried, and only temporarily reassured when a doctor informs them that she is tired and possibly depressed. Sharing his concerns with Beth (whose mother passed away, and from whom she received a penchant for reading newspapers) helps Tommy cope with the...
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