MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Blue by Joyce Moyer Hostetter

ISBN: 9781590788356
Publisher's Synopsis:
Ann Fay Honeycutt accepts the role of "man of the house" when her father leaves to fight Hitler because she wants to do her part for the war in this Parents' Choice Silver Honor Book. She's doing well with the extra responsibilities when a frightening polio epidemic strikes, crippling many local children. Her town of Hickory responds by creating an emergency hospital in three days. Ann Fay reads each issue of the newspaper for the latest news of the 1944 epidemic, but soon she discovers for herself just how devastating polio can be. As her challenges grow, so does her resourcefulness. In the face of tragedy, Ann Fay discovers her ability to move forward. She experiences the healing qualities of friendship and explores the depths of her own faithfulness to those she loves—even to one she never expected to love at all.

MrsK's Review:
Ann Fay Honeycutt a perfect name for a strong and courageous young lady. Around 1944, most children were not growing up in a season of playing and being disconnected to what was happening in the world. The war against Hitler was taking fathers, brothers, uncles, and cousins from the homes. Food rationing meant life or starvation for everyone. Everyone was doing their part, and yet sometimes a sickness spreads and causing even deeper scars within the hearts of families.

Ann Fay will watch over her siblings while her mother is attending to Bobby's needs. She will long for her Daddy's return from the war. She will experience heartache when life can seem to be cruel. And she will learn to trust in the support of her neighbors, friendship, and a girl who isn't so different than she.

The epidemic of polio was sweeping the nation. Fortunately, for Ann Fay and her family the town had opened the Hickory Polio camp. Although this historical fiction novel is written with a child like perspective, the reality of life in a small town during the mid-forties is so much more. Ann Fay will be responsible. She will be facing tough decisions. She will need courage to move forward when her world is at a standstill. She will forge ahead in friendships that are supportive. She will learn to shut out the negative in order to accept the possibilities.

Every student in fourth grade (+) should experience Ann Fay's story. Every element of the Six-Traits is beautifully woven in a time in which town's were facing such a depression that went deeper than a lack of money. Either as a read-aloud or a sharing of certain passages, this is a story to be shared!

"I tell you what's the truth.
When I looked at that polio sign next to the blue star flag Momma
hung up there for Daddy being a soldier,
I felt like I was looking down a double-barrel shotgun...
and fixing to get blowed all to pieces." 

A must read and share novel. Excellent for a class room read-aloud.
Needs to be added to every school library shelf.

Meet the Author:
  Joyce Moyer Hostetter is the author of four historical novels, including Blue, winner of the International Reading Association Children’s Book Award, and its sequel, Comfort. She lives with her husband in North Carolina, close to her two adult children and nine grandchildren.
As a child, I was fascinated with family photos. At our house we had a red album with black pages.  The pictures were tucked into little white corner tabs. But we also had a random collection of photos in a gray shoebox. I loved to scrounge through that box.
There were images of me at various younger stages in my life. And some of me with my siblings, all lined up in stairstep formation.  (I was the second smallest girl.)
As I child I was:
  • a chatterbox
  • the only girl in class with pigtails (I just hated that!)
  • a bookworm and a dreamer
  • good with words – not so good with numbers
  • lover of creeks
  • master creator of playhouses in barns and sheds 

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