As World War II threatens the United States in 1941, fourteen-year-old Junior Bledsoe fights his own battles at home. Junior struggles with school and with anger—at his father, his insufferable granddaddy, his neighbors, and himself—as he desperately tries to understand himself and find his own aim in life. But he finds relief in escaping to the quiet of the nearby woods and tinkering with cars, something he learned from his Pop, and a fatherly neighbor provides much-needed guidance. This heartfelt and inspiring prequel to the author’s Blue and Comfort also includes an author’s note and bibliography.
Ann Fay Honeycutt accepts the role of “man of the house” when her father leaves to fight Hitler because she wants to do her part for the war in this Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Book. She’s doing well with the extra responsibilities when a frightening polio epidemic strikes, crippling many local children. Her town of Hickory responds by creating an emergency hospital in three days. Ann Fay reads each issue of the newspaper for the latest news of the 1944 epidemic, but soon she discovers for herself just how devastating polio can be. As her challenges grow, so does her resourcefulness. In the face of tragedy, Ann Fay discovers her ability to move forward. She experiences the healing qualities of friendship and explores the depths of her own faithfulness to those she loves—even to one she never expected to love at all.
World War II is over and Ann Fay Honeycut has new challenges—mostly her relationship with her father, home from the war, and the emotional and physical demands of polio. Now that Daddy has returned from fighting Hitler and Ann Fay is home from the polio hospital, life should get back to normal. But Ann Fay discovers she no longer fits easily into old friendships and Daddy has been traumatized by the war. Her family and social life are both falling apart. Ever responsible, she tries to fix things until she finally admits that she herself needs fixing. She travels to the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation, founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt, where she finds comfort, healing, and even a little romance. Although this invigorating experience does not solve all her problems, it does give Ann Fay a new view of herself. In this Parents’ Choice Awards Recommended Book, sequel to Blue, Ann Fay makes new friends, reevaluates old relationships, and discovers her unique place in the community.