Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Secret War Diary, by Flossie Albright: My History of the Second World War 1939-1945

Williams, Marcia. 2008. MY SECRET WAR DIARY, BY FLOSSIE ALBRIGHT: MY HISTORY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR 1939-1945. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick. ISBN 9780763641115 [Suggested Grade Levels 4-7]

World War II is looming and nine year old Flossie must grow up fast to help her family and country during these dangerous times. Flossie lives with her father, baby brother, and great uncle in the gardener’s cottage on a country estate south of London. When her father joins the army, Flossie is understandably upset at being left without a parent, especially since her mother died after Timmy was born. With the help of her great uncle and the cook at the big house, Flossie manages to take care of her brother and help with the war effort.

Flossie’s diary resembles a scrapbook, full of actual newspaper clippings and advertisements from the era. Marcia Williams includes her own family’s mementos and photographs amid Flossie’s handwritten entries and drawings, which gives the diary a sense of historical authenticity and voice. Readers can identify with this spunky and resourceful girl as she welcomes evacuees from London, knits scarves and mittens for soldiers, and longs for a letter or visit from her dad.

This diary would be a great choice to enhance lessons about previous or current wars and the effects felt by the families waiting at home. With all the fold-outs and extra information in captions and newspaper clippings, this scrapbook would work best as an individual reading selection or literature circle discussion book.

Other books about children and young adults helping the World War II war effort:
Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker. FOR FREEDOM: THE STORY OF A FRENCH SPY. ISBN 9780385729611
Durbin, William. THE WINTER WAR. ISBN 9780385746526
Lowry, Lois. NUMBER THE STARS. ISBN 9780440227533

By Kimberly C. Kinnaird

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