Hey, surprise, surprise. I did read our book! It was fun, I almost finished it in one afternoon while the kids played at our local community pool. It's that short. Richard Peck is a fabulous author and while this story didn't have the depth of some of his other books (really it was too short to have that depth) and it didn't really have a major climax to the story, it was still very good.
I loved how he tied in multiple wars into the basically WWII story and how war's effects don't remain just the length of a war, but whole lifetimes. I liked how especially Scooter, the main character's friend, comes to question whether the sacrifices they (soldiers, citizens, families) were making are truly worth it, without ever giving an answer to that question.
On a different note, it made me think of how hard these 6-8th grade kids worked to help collect things for the war effort and how in some ways, I really wish my children had the opportunity to contribute to something that was worthwhile, and learn to work--physically. (Yes, I know Andrea that many of the things they collected in WWII was actually not useful, but they thought it was, so it meant something anyway.) Anyway, I was just thinking about physical labor because the last weekend we spent all Saturday digging dirt and doing yard work, and it is actually kind of nice to feel so physically tired and see the work you've accomplished. Not that I would want to do that everyday, but really, my kids will basically have few, if ever, the need for that kind of work. And I think that's unfortunate.
And really, that's all I have to say, except that I love his teacher that took over the class. :)