Friday, March 26, 2010

Year of the Historical: Jimmy's Stars

Jimmy's Stars Mary Ann Rodman

Ellie's older brother Jimmy is one of the last men she knows to get drafted into the war. Ellie's used to giving up things "for the duration"-- meat, her roller skates, sugar... but this is something she's not willing to give to the war effort. Not her brother.

What an absolutely fantastic look at the home-front during WWII. Ellie and her friends compare whose brothers are the biggest heroes. They reenact famous battles for fun. But they quickly learn that war is more than what they see on the newsreels. They dread the gold stars that appear in people's windows, the Western Union man who stops in front of a house to deliver the horrible news. They see the soldiers who are missing body parts, and even the ones that look physically fine but are irreparably damaged in other ways.

I feel like we've built WWII up in our collective consciousness to the point where it wasn't a war anymore. It was back when men were men and we all pitched in to do our part and it was a war worth fighting that no one questioned. But people died, and people were injured. People did question. It was a war. And sometimes it's worth remembering that hands-down THE BEST movie made about re-entry and PTSD was made in 1946.

All in all, a wonderful book, although I really wanted an author's note at the end to help put it in context.

Book Provided by... my local library

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Charlotte said...

Hi Jenny,

I just finished it, after getting it from the library after reading this review.

It was very good, but made me weep buckets....

Anna said...

I've had my eye on this one for awhile. I've heard a lot of good things about it.

I hope it's okay that I linked to your review on the Book Reviews: WWII page on War Through the Generations.

Diary of an Eccentric