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Vinnie's War [Large Print]
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Gr 5-7-Orphaned 13-year-old Vinnie Cartwright has learned to fend for himself, despite his difficult circumstance with his foster mother. When England enters World War II, the boy's part-time job with the Rosens at their London pub suddenly disappears after their street is demolished during a German bombing raid. Rounded up with other children, he is evacuated to a small village in the countryside for the duration of the war. Based on the author's experiences, this novel is filled with the disruptions and adjustments that these children endured, living among strangers who were not always completely welcoming. The first-person narrative gives readers a realistic view of this particular boy's situation through episodic scenes featuring local bullies, sometimes drolly recounted as new friends and fellow evacuees devise retaliatory tactics. Vinnie's saving grace is his interest in music, established with the Rosens' nephew, a classically trained pianist, who encourages Vinnie to play some simple harmonica tunes. The owner of his temporary, wartime home, a pianist herself, takes an interest in Vinnie and brings music into his life again, helping him hone his fledgling musical skills. Facsimiles of newspaper headlines, postcards, advertisements, and other ephemera provide readers with a nostalgic view of the period. A somewhat intriguing and adventurous portrayal of a difficult period in English history.-Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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