Saller, Carol Fisher. Eddie's War.
Nominated for the Cybils by Elizabeth Fama.
Eddie lives on a farm in a small midwestern town. He experiences life, some death, and meets a Gypsy gentleman from Poland at the library, where the two read newspapers. Jozef is trying to find mention of his town because of the approaching war. After Pearl Harbor, many local boys join up, including Eddie's brother Thomas, to whom Eddie writes. When a nearby farm burns, Jozef is arrested because one of his silver buttons is found at the site, but Eddie eventually finds out who the true culprit is. Eddie also has a budding romance with a girl from his school.
Strengths: This is a novel in verse, and at least it scans like poetry. While there is no rhyming, the lines all sound more like poetry than most novels in verse. This is a good depiction of home front life during WWII.
Weaknesses: Again, my students never want home front stories; they want the fighting. The style and subject matter struck me as something that would appeal more to people my father's age.