Topic: Homeschool Product Review
Recently, as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew, I was sent a free copy of Bertie's War published by Kregel Publications in order for me to read and write a review to put on this blog.
Ok, before I go into my review of this fine book, here's my beaf. I very rarely am upset with any of the rest of my TOS Homeschool Crew mates, but this one takes the cake. We have a forum to discuss different ways of reviewing an item, or how we work in review items with our regular curriculum etc. We don't usually discuss the fine details of anything, or what we think, because we don't want other peoples views to distort our own reviews. We might, however, make little comments about items. Recently a comment was made about Bertie's War that they were "so glad that finally a historical novel has been written about the 1960's".
I wanted to scream at the computer! "Historical! What do you mean historical? I was alive in the early 1960's and I'm not historical!" I was quite irate. It made me feel like an antique! Historical indeed ! Ah, well...enough about me and on with the review.Bertie's War, a wonderful novel written by Barbara Tifft Blakey, is about a 12 year old girl growing up in 1962. Poor 12 year old Bertie's world is falling apart. As if she doesn't have enough to worry about with an annoying older sister, younger brother and stern father, now she's at that awkward age of being between childhood and adulthood, she's beginning seventh grade, and, to top it all off, the United States is in the midst of major crisis with Cuba.
Her life seems to be in a state of confusion and she doesn't know what to do. She worries about everything. Join Bertie as she has to deal with fires, hurricanes, family death, school bomb drills, her own emotions and her relationship with God during a very tumultuous year.
Bertie's War is an entertaining book written on a mature preteen to teenage level. It is...as upsetting as this word is to say ..."historically" accurate and the author does an excellent job of telling what life was really like for people (especially kids) during those very uneasy days of the early sixties. It is written in a very easy style with enough action to keep you turning the pages. More than once I found myself not wanting to put it down.
I usually preview books, especially by unknown authors, before allowing my children to read them. Because the subject was a 12 year old girl, and I have three sons, this was one that I wanted to especially read ahead of time. Now that I have reviewed it, I have no hesitation giving it to my 13 year old son to read. In fact, I see many similarities between Bertie and John Allen. So many, in fact, that I am hoping he learns something from the way Bertie's emotions are dealt with in the end. "How is that?" you may ask. You'll have to find out by reading the book.