Saturday, January 21, 2023

Yonder By Ali Standish - ESSENTIAL

Yonder by Ali Standish
. 368 pages. HarperCollins. 2022. $17. 

Language: G (0 swears 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: G; Violence: PG (physical bullying, descriptions of injuries). 



12yo Danny Timmons has a hero. An older boy named Jack Bailey. Jack saved twins from drowning during a flood, and he also stepped up and stopped a bully who was hurting Danny. They are friends of a sort, delivering newspapers together in their small Appalacian town, but Jack is a loner - his father is abusive, and when he doesn’t show up for his route one morning, Danny is frantic, certain Jack’s father has done something. 

Danny’s own father is overseas fighting in WWII.  Danny is collecting scrap metal, there are food rations, a draft board, service stars in peoples windows, prejudice against a German widow and a black family.  Although there is a lot going on, Yonder is an honest look at WWII and how it affected the people in the United States.  I was thoroughly engaged right from the start. Ali Standish tells some of the story in flashbacks - which are easily identified as the pages are grayish and the text is italics. I haven’t read many stories about American children during WWII, and I loved Yonder. Includes an authors note on some of the history of WWII that isn’t in the history books like how long our government knew about the extermination camps and our response to German refugees. Danny and Jake and most of the town is white. 

Lisa Librarian

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