Showing posts with label Historical Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Historical Fiction. Show all posts

Friday, December 18, 2009

TOS Crew Review: Bertie's War-a novel by Barbara Tifft Blakey (Kregal Publications)

I suppose most reading this are too young to remember, or were not even born during the Cuban Missile Crisis (that would be me), but for those who are studying that time frame in their history studies, or simply enjoy reading fiction based on historical events, this book could serve as a nice addition to their studies.

Based on a young girl named Bertie, the war she encounters is not so much of what is going on in her life and/or around her-but more with what is going on inside of her mind, and with her emotions.  Life happens, but when Bertie experiences things, she does so through what we (meaning my family) consider the "Onion Skinned" approach.  She is a disaster, and it shows.  I can think of a lot of Bible verses that admonish pondering so much on oneself or one's problems, regarding the lack of fortitude, and allowing the root of fear to practically stop a person from living; all which directly address the issues ole Bertie girl is struggling with in this story.  It doesn't help that her parents seem a bit out of touch with what the child is going through (or perhaps that is just her perception of things) and well, it all seems almost too much to bear.  Does Bertie climb out of the multiple pits in which she lives?  Not to be one to spoil a book's ending,  I am leaving that undisclosed, so you'll have to read it to find out.

As for how we enjoyed this story-well, it was OK.  I liked that it is written with a Christian undertone, and that it addresses what many tweens/teens experience as they merge into adulthood, you know-during that delicate time when one must forge through to the other side. I found that the ending was better than the beginning...but it wasn't something I felt I would have spent the money on.  I wasn't that impressed-especially with the first half of the book. It was a bit disturbing to me, and I am not sure exactly why. It left me feeling a tad perplexed, and I honestly (at times) I  wasn't sure where the story line was going. The family dynamics bothered me as well.  I guess (now that I own it) I will add it to our 20th Century US and World studies, since it does discuss what some experienced, in the US, during that iffy time in our history-but I would not have bought it outright.  I really cannot put my finger on why folks-sorry, but for us it wasn't such a hit. Perhaps it came across as "twaddle", as we prefer our reading selections to be more in depth for that age range? I dunno, honestly I just don't know.  This is one of those products where you will definitely need to read more of my TOS mates' opinions, so you can make a decision for yourself.

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As for Kregal Publications, well that is a " of a different color!" (for those who do not recognize that statement, it is taken from the The Wizard of Oz movie). These folks have been around for years, offer a wide selection of Christian-based material for just about everyone. You can read all about them, and their mission for their company, on their About Us page. I am quite impressed with the books they offer and plan on continuing to explore their site.

Kregel Publications Homepage

Bertie's War info

Bertie's War: $7.99 PB Tween/Fiction

Be sure to visit the TOS Review Crew Homepage to see what my crew mates had to say about this, and many other fine homeschool products.

***Kregel Publications provided me with a free copy of the book, Bertie's War by Barbara Blakey, to be read and used by family.  I have discussed my opinion regarding this product, and have not received  financial compensation for writing this review.