As a member of the BBC (Boy's Book Club), I'm always excited to see what the other members of the book club choose for our next selection. This book club is a made-up of several male teachers in my building. We have been reading together since 2000. There have been some wins, and there have been a few loses along the way. This one falls smack dad in the middle.
What It Is About: "Earwig" and his older brother Jimmy are extremely close. Jimmy looks out for his younger brother because he isn't like the other sixteen year olds. Earwig depends on Jimmy for friendship, support, and protection. They live in rural Wisconsin just as World War II is about to start. Jimmy enlists, but doesn't think he will get called up, but then the draft forces him to leave his family, his girl, and his beloved younger brother. Earwig isn't sure how he will handle life with Jimmy, but as the days turn into months and the months turn into years; he and his family begin to find a new normal. Earwig notices changes with his parents as they wait for their oldest son to return. Everyone is the town has someone that is fighting in the way so they all share that common loss. All Earwig and his parents want is for Jimmy's return. Learning that he has become a prisoner of war, they worry Jimmy and his fellow soldiers will never be the same.
What I Thought Of It: As I posted on GoodReads, this novel was so-so for me. I've read other stories about families dealing with a child going off to war and how each member of the family deals with it. Some were better and some were worse. This book falls just in the "middle". It was an easy and quick read. The chapters were short and there was lots of dialogue. For some reason I never really connected to Earwig, Jimmy, or any of the supporting characters. I cared about them, but just didn't feel invested. There were no major surprises, or twists/turns, but it was an OK story about a family dealing with life the best they could.
Who Should Read It: This is an older book, being published in 2005, so many of you that read adult fiction, may have already read it. Once I began this book I actually started thinking I may have read it back in the day. If you are looking for a quick read with a historical "focus", then this would be a good read. Even though I only gave it three stars, I saw that many readers rated it 4-5 stars. Happy Reading!
Rating: 3 STARS out of 5 Stars