Bertie's War, by Barbara Tifft Blakey, is a story that takes place back in the turbulent time of the 1960's, when the threat of nuclear missiles was real. Roberta, or Bertie, is entering that time between childhood and young adulthood, picking her way through the "traumatic" times that becoming a young woman can entail.
Bertie lives with her mom and dad, her brother Aaron, and her sister Tami. Bertie has all of her favorite places to go when fear drives her to the point of just wanting to escape. The thing is, that even though Bertie is afraid of every little thing, especially the woodshed and even the threat of nuclear missiles attacking, she's still into trouble with every turn she takes. No matter what she does, she just can't seem to do anything right, and she certainly can't please anyone. The story winds through Bertie's many adventures, both real and imaginary, as Bertie has quite the imagination and can make a storyline out of any situation.
I found this story to be very real and very colorful. As I read, I could easily picture all of the scenarios that Bertie drummed up, and I could feel her sadness throughout different parts, such as the story of her grandmother's death. I could easily feel her frustration, as well. Some parts made me think back to my own childhood, as I remembered making up fantasies about what might be around the next corner, or fantasies to go along with whatever job I was given to do, etc. The story goes on to show the reader why Bertie is so afraid of everything, and the lesson behind the story is truly eye-opening. At first glance, I would not have thought that the story could have such a deep impression, but it truly does. Not only is it a great story, but it's a story I would be ok with letting my daughter read, if I had a daughter. Seeing as my son is 7, I don't think he would really be interested in this kind of story....of course, he could surprise me.:) I did enjoy it, though. You can get a copy of Bertie's War from Kregel Publications for $7.99.
To read more reviews, visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog.
(Disclosure: This book was provided, free of charge, by Kregel Publications, in association with the TOS Homeschool Crew.)