Wednesday, April 2, 2008

American Diaries: Book Review

Ages: 10 - 12
Publisher: Aladdin Paperbacks
ISBN: 0-689-84404-2
Publication: May 2001

American Diaries are books written in a similar fashion as a series except the characters do not repeat. Also, American Diaries books are about 140 pages in length. American Diaries are written through the eyes of a twelve year old within a twenty-four hour period portraying a true historical event or period. The characters are fictional.

For instance I just read Janey G. Blue, Pearl Harbor 1941. Janey is a 12 year old girl who has recently moved from Kansas to Hawaii with her family. Her father is a civil service worker at Hickam Field in Pearl Harbor. Her experiences and impressions of December 7, 1941 take place from Sunday, December 7, 1941 at 7 a.m. to Monday December 8, 1941 at 7 a.m.

Janey loves the trees, fresh fruit and all the people on Oahu but she misses Kansas and her best friend Tilly even more. Besides, all the talk of impending war makes Janey nervous and scared. The evening before December 7, 1941 Janey writes in her diary.

“Last night after the Christmas concert the grown-ups got going about the war again. Holy Golly, I am sick of hearing it. Its bad enough we have to listen to the planes from Hickam Field drill all the time. Some pilots pretend to be invading and the others practice defending the harbor and the airfields and they all pretend to fight. It’s so noisy that Pokey (dog) hides under the bed.”

Kathleen Duey captures helplessness, fear and anxiety many people must have felt that fateful day; December 7, 1941. Kathleen Duey is an award winning author who has written more than 50 books for children, YA and adults. Thirty-three of these books have been historical and adventure fiction. She also novelized the DreamWorks movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.

Write it down,