Jennie’s War: The Home Front in World War 2 (1944) (Sisters in Time #23)
Barbour Publishing (2005)
Reviewed by Sara McGinn (age 9) for Reader Views (9/08)
“Jennie’s War” by Bonnie Hinman takes place in Seattle during World War II. It is a story about a girl who helps the war effort in many ways by collecting fat and metal scraps, planting a victory garden, and investigating a possible spy.
The author was very successful in showing readers what life was like for kids living during World War II. While her oldest brother was off fighting in the war, Jennie, who was nine-years-old, spent a lot of time collecting things to be used in the war effort. She did not know if he was going to come home alive or not. I can imagine that must have been very scary for her. It also described the challenge of living without sweets—a big challenge for a kid! Jennie’s family was also chosen to run a hotel owned by some Japanese-Americans who were sent to an internment camp. Jennie would often fight with her younger brother and they would get in trouble and be punished by having to clean the hotel.
Even though I learned a lot about life during World War II, the first nine chapters were not very exciting. Nothing that was really cool happened. But the last four chapters really caught my attention because Jennie made a thrilling discovery! I would like this book better if the author rewrote the first nine chapters to make them more interesting and if Jennie’s character grew throughout the story. She stayed the same which made it kind of boring.
“Jennie’s War” by Bonnie Hinman is written for 8 to 12-year-olds and I think that is just right. I would probably recommend this to my friends but only if they were already interested in World War II.