Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Caleb's Wars

Dudley, David L. Caleb's Wars.
Publication date 10/24/11. E-ARC from NetGalley.com

Life in the south during the second world war does not seem fair to Caleb. He's sick of all the bowing and scraping his father does to white people in town, especially Mr. Davis. Caleb is even more upset because his older brother, Randall, is in the army. If black men can die for the US, why can't they get a fair shake? After a fight with his father, Caleb gets a job at a restaurant Mr. Davis owns. Also working there is Andreas, a German POW. Complicating matters is the fact that after his baptism, Caleb thinks he hears the voice of God, and he manages to heal his uncle's rheumatism. When Randall is injured and in a POW camp, Caleb can't take it. What consequences will there be to confronting Mr. Davis?

Strengths: Very interesting historical perspective. The interaction between Caleb and Andreas is very interesting. The only other book on this topic that I can think of is Greene's Summer of My German Soldier. Great cover, too.
Weaknesses: This moved a bit slowly. There are some scenes that went on longer than they should have, and Caleb's mysticism doesn't add much to the story. The book that my boys really want to read is the story of Randall's experiences as a black soldier fighting in WWII.

Jones, Jen. Faith and the Camp Snob.
Publication date 8/1/11. E-ARC from NetGalley.com

Faith doesn't think she's a typical cheerleader-- she's not outgoing or petite. Her self-consciousness about the matter leaves her open to being badgered by the alpha cheerleader in her group when they go to camp. She misses her mother, but makes a few friends. Can she continue her cheering when she feels that she is not being treated fairly by all of her teammates?
Strengths: This has a lot of basic information about cheering, and a lot of vocabulary. The explanations are very helpful for someone interested in cheering. The first in a series.
Weaknesses: The story line suffers a bit because of the emphasis on cheering. Still, this will be good for my 6th grade girls who might be interested in cheering but struggle with reading skills.

1. 49 Miles 2. 48 books 3. 38 quilt tops

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