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Book Tour: War and Watermelon by Rich Wallace


Author: Rich Wallace
Publisher: Viking Children's (a division of Penguin)
hard cover: 184 pages
genre: young adult 

My Thoughts/Summary/Review:  A story of summer...great summers back when we were in junior high.  Swimming at te local pool, sports practices in the scorching heat, making new friends and seeing old ones change, neighborhood gatherings and a new awareness of the opposite sex.  This book is set in the sixties amid the Vietnam War and Woodstock.  A time when the Beatles, the Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, the Archies and the Youngbloods floated across the airwaves as you swam in the pool during the day or lay in bed with the windows open at night.  It speaks of finding independence and the confusion that living in a country fighting in a war creates.  Road trips to Mets games and Woodstock.  Peace signs strung delicately on a chain around girls necks.  Older brothers protesting and talking of dodging the draft.  I don't know how more to explain this book than a feel-good read reminiscent of coming of age stories such as The Sandlot, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Because of Winn-Dixie.   War & Watermelon left me feeling nostalgic about my summer before 7th grade...in the 80's, not the 60's...but similar.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and have passed it on to my junior high-age son.

I leave you with Brody's (our main character) favorite song that summer...



A bit about Rich Wallace (from the TLC Book Tours site):
Rich Wallace is the author of many award-winning books for children and teenagers, including Wrestling Sturbridge, Sports Camp, Perpetual Check, and the Kickers and Winning Season series. He lives with his wife, novelist Sandra Neil Wallace, in Keene, NH.

A note from Rich:  ”Bloggers might like to know that, like Brody in War & Watermelon, I was 12 years old in 1969 and living in suburban New Jersey, just becoming aware of the war and the music and the other world-changing events of that summer. I also had an older brother who was eligible for the draft, which caused considerable concern in our household and informed the events of this novel.”
*I received a free copy of this book to review from the publisher.  All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% mine.
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