Pearsall, Shelley. Jump Into the Sky.
Expected publication: August 14th 2012 by Alfred a Knopf
Levi has been living with an aunt in Chicago since his mother left him and his father is in the army during in WWII. When his aunt tires of having him, she sends him off to where his father is stationed in the south. This is quite a culture shock for the smart, well-behaved boy who is subject to the Jim Crow behavior in this part of the US for the first time. To make matters worse, his father's unit has just been shipped to Oregon. Luckily, one of his father's men, Cal, takes him in to help out with his wife, Peaches, who is expecting and soon has a baby girl. Eventually, Cal is sent to join the 555th, and Levi is reunited with his father. WWII is winding down, but the Japanese are sending bombs into the US on balloons, and the 555th, while fighting against racial prejudice, is also trying to keep those at bay.
Strengths: I have two reading speeds, Review Speed With Laser Focus and Enjoying Myself. Pearsall is a great writer who frequently lulled me into leisurely enjoying her prose. This is also an under represented area of WWII history, and the research is well done.
Weaknesses: As with most books set in the home front, this lacks action. There is some at the end, with the balloons, but there isn't even as much racial tension in the south as I thought there would be. Aside from one big incident, most of the book is very quiet. That's not a weakness until you try to give this book to one of the war mongering preteen boys who want things to blow up in every chapter. They will be attracted to the great cover.
Do apologize-- thought this was coming out in February.
I have spent an hour this morning on audiovisual problems, and last night was struggling with getting Kindle content for a student who has a Kindle Fire but only one book on it. E Books can be very frustrating if you are not buying the books! I didn't even have any luck trying to get NetGalley titles on the Kindle. Argh!