Friday, May 7, 2021

War and Millie McGonigle by Karen Cushman - OPTIONAL

War and Millie McGonigle by Karen Cushman, 224 pages. Knopf (random), 2021. $17 

Content: G 



Before her grandmother died, she gave Millie a blank book - a book to write down the things she wants to hold onto and remember. But Milliw maybe wasn’t listening closely and uses the book to draw and record things around her that are dead. Mostly it’s what washes up on the Southern CA beach by her home, but now that the United States has entered WWII, it is an occasional soldier from her hometown. As the war goes on, rationing takes its toll on Millie’s small family. 

Cushman’s latest is more a historical fiction book that happens to be set during WWII instead of a book about WWII. Reviewers will probably call it gentle and sweet, but there is nothing to really bite into here. It is another book about a neurotic 12yo who is afraid of things changing. Had Millie’s dad gone to war or an older brother, it would have a more immediate feel. As it is, however, Millie is only mildly touched by the different issues of the day, including polio and racism. Nothing is important here - just a slice of life. So if you need a gentle, sweet book that happens to be set in WWII California, then by all means, buy away. 

Cindy, Middle School librarian 

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