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Don't You Know There's A War On? by Avi

Don't You Know There's A War On? (2001)

by Avi

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648821,679 (3.38)1



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It's the middle of WWII. Eleven year-old Howie Crispers' dad is a merchant marine off fighting the Nazis and his mom is working at the Navy Yard. Howie's and his sister's job is to go to school and get good grades. Sounds simple, but with the daily headlines about the War and the constant reminders of nightly blackouts and "Loose lips sink ships," Howie wants to do more to help the war effort.

When he sees Dr. Lomister, the school principal at the front door of a brownstone at a time where he is always at school, Howie knows something is going on. That fact that Lomister is a bit furtive in his actions makes it even more important that Howie finds out what is going on, so he manages to get into the building and do a bit of spying.

What Howie finds out is serious stuff that will affect his whole class and involves his teacher Miss Gossim. How is Howie going to stop this horrible event? What can he do? It is especially hard when he does get all the details but is sworn to secrecy.

I enjoy Avi's writing. It takes you into the story and keeps you moving along. This particular book was a two sitting read. I just had to know how things turned out. Even though it is for kids 8 - 12 I think even adults can enjoy it. The chapters are faced with the headlines of the day and there are references from radio shows, slang and attitudes that lend even more to it. ( )
  ChazziFrazz | May 3, 2017 |
A fascinating story to listen to while traveling. A sixteen year old narrator looks back to the time when he was he was eleven and his beautiful teacher was required to resign. When he fines out why the suspicious principal is requiring this he gets the whole town to sign his petition to keep this fifth grade teacher. Humorous, endearing and with a light touch on the wartime climate in Brooklyn, NY in the 1940's. ( )
  MarthaL | Jul 16, 2011 |
Once again, Avi has a hit with Don't You Know There's a War On?
I am partial to historical fiction, and this book is light on factual historical details, which is fine. I don't think Avi meant for it to be that kind of book. What it is, is a story about a boy whose curiousity gets him into all kinds of trouble. But, it is funny every time you turn the page. The descriptions of action are fabulous and it is easy to imagine each scene! At times this book is just laugh out loud funny! The premise of the plot is that the main character, narrator, Howie thinks his prinicipal is a spy. It is set in Brooklyn during WW2 and it is easy to imagine a boy running around Brooklyn trying to do his own investigation. I haven't read all of Avi's books, but this is definitely my favorite. Believable characters, well scripted dialogue, and setting descriptions that are easy to imagine, even to a reader that is unfamiliar with this era in history. If there is any negative aspect to this book, it would be the fact that most students may not have the background knowledge regarding the homefront during WW2 to really get all the humor and understand the trials and tribulations people suffered in America during this time. ( )
  srssrs | Oct 4, 2009 |
Save the teacher! ( )
  stoog | May 24, 2008 |
It’s Brooklyn New York during WWII and Mr. Lomister (they think he’s a Nazi) at the Robert Fulton School is trying to get Miss Gossim fired just because she is going to have a baby and Howie (who has a crush on her) and the whole class has decided to put their money where there mouth is (there’s a war on you know) and go to Lomister’s boss, Mrs. Walch, and fight for her job. Landrum’s range from Brooklynese kid to gentle Mrs. Walch is flawless. Avi creatively inserts news coverage from the war before each chapter. When life becomes too difficult, Avi has the answer: think of cake!
If You liked This, Try: V is for Victory: The American Home Front During World War II (People’s History) by Sylvia Whitman, The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco, World WarII for Kids: A History with 21 Activities by Richard Panchyk. ( )
  avcr | Dec 15, 2007 |
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For Gail Hochman, of Brooklyn
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I was late that Monday morning because my shoelace broke just as I was leaving for school.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380815443, Paperback)

World War II is on everyone's mind and in every headline, and Howie Crispers has a hunch that his school principal is a spy. With a little snooping around, Howie finds out something even more alarming. Principal Lomister may not be a spy, but he is plotting to get rid of Howie's favorite teacher. Howie's dad is fighting Nazis overseas, and his mom is working hard to support the war effort, so Miss Gossim is the only person Howie can depend on. With the help of his friends, and a plan worthy of radio show superhero Captain Midnight, Howie intends to save Miss Gossim!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:17 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In wartime Brooklyn in 1943, eleven-year-old Howie Crispers mounts a campaign to save his favorite teacher from being fired.

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