Wallace, Rich War and Watermelon. Viking Publishing, 2011. 184 pgs. Language: PG (8 total swears) Violence: G, Sexual Content: PG (12 year old boys talking about girls). $15.99 HC
In the summer of 1969, Brody is 12 and on the cusp of junior high. He is starting football and trying to navigate the complex social traps that surround him. Meanwhile, his older brother Ryan and his father are constantly fighting about the Vietnam war and the morality of it, all while Ryan’s 18th birthday (and his entrance into the draft) are looming.
A quick read, never delving into the very heavy emotions that are just under the surface of the Vietnam era. Funny and touching, it never quite hit emotional pay-dirt. Due to the voice and subject matter, it felt like a watered-down version of Gary D. Schmidt’s Okay For Now or Wednesday Wars, but that doesn’t rob it of all merit. MS – ADVISABLE.