Why?: The War Years by Tomie dePaola

Intended for ages 7 and up, this chapter book is told from the point of view of little Tomie, who greets New Year’s Day of 1942 with typical childhood naïveté. While family members are off fighting the war, Tomie worries about little more than losing teeth. Until the last three pages, which offer something of a too-abrupt stunner. Were the idea further explored instead of left hanging, it might have served the story rather than detract from it. Kids are likely to be entertained, then perhaps disturbed, with more questions than the book wants to answer.

-Rod Lott


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