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Sonny's War
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About the Author

Valerie Hobbs is the recipient of the 1999 PEN/Norma Klein Award, a biennial prize that recognizes "an emerging voice of literary merit among American writers of children's fiction." She is the author of young adult and middle-grade novels including "Sheep," "Defiance," "Anything but Ordinary," and "The Last Best Days of Summer." She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she has taught academic writing. Valerie lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband.

Reviews

Gr 7 Up-The Vietnam War era comes under scrutiny in this novel. Ojala, CA, is the blue-collar town where Sonny spends his days as a garage mechanic and his nights cruising and racing his rebuilt Ford. Feeling the need to pay his family's debts and believing that his recently deceased father would have wanted him to do so, he brushes aside his 14-year-old sister's suggestion that he flee the draft, and he is shipped out to Vietnam. Meanwhile, Cory helps her mother try to keep the family restaurant open and begins high school, where she develops a huge crush on a young history teacher who's an antiwar activist. Hobbs gives readers a good idea of the temper of the time, and of the place and people about whom she's writing. The nicely drawn teenagers of this small, sleepy community are unprepared for the consequences when three of their crowd enter the service (one dies and two are wounded). But it's the antiwar movement that receives the most penetrating examination through the sensitive, yet ultimately self-serving teacher who proves to be a rich kid who can avoid prosecution for torching an Army recruitment center, and the conflicted Sonny, who is last seen leaving home wearing a backpack with a peace sign on it. Through Cory, a careful, perceptive observer and a questioning participant, readers glimpse the ambiguities and tensions driving the nation and individual citizens during this difficult time.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"Hobbs poignantly evokes the turbulent sentiments of 1967-68, a time when the nation was not only at war against Vietnam, but also against itself . . . The author shows what she does best, crafting a believable, multifaceted plot with vivid,
well-rounded characters who learn to love each other - and themselves. Hobbs just gets better and better." --Starred, "Kirkus Reviews" "The times, they were a-changin'; and Hobbs chronicles the pivotal years of the late sixties in a convincing, affecting novel . . . Hobbs writes like a dream." --Starred, "The Horn Book"""
"Through Cory, a careful, perceptive observer and a questioning participant, readers glimpse the ambiguities and tensions driving the nation and individual citizens during this difficult time." --Starred, "School Library Journal"

Hobbs poignantly evokes the turbulent sentiments of 1967 68, a time when the nation was not only at war against Vietnam, but also against itself . . . The author shows what she does best, crafting a believable, multifaceted plot with vivid, well-rounded characters who learn to love each other and themselves. Hobbs just gets better and better. "Starred, Kirkus Reviews" The times, they were a-changin'; and Hobbs chronicles the pivotal years of the late sixties in a convincing, affecting novel . . . Hobbs writes like a dream. "Starred, The Horn Book" Through Cory, a careful, perceptive observer and a questioning participant, readers glimpse the ambiguities and tensions driving the nation and individual citizens during this difficult time. "Starred, School Library Journal""

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