Note: I meant to post this review on June 6th, D-Day, but I was busy helping my daughter and daughter-in-law move a second time in less than one month, so I forgot to post this. However, July 4th is upon us, so this seems like another relevant time to post it..
War on a Sunday Morning, part of Teresa Funke’s Home-Front Heroes series, is an excellent addition to her World War II stories based on a real person, in this case, Peggy Baccelli. Peggy’s father was in the armed service, and she, her brother, and parents moved to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, when Peggy, like her counterpart Rose in the book, is 13 years old, right before the attack on December 7, 1941.
In this story, Rose is a newcomer to Hawaii and misses her friends back in California. She sketches everything she sees, keeping her sketch pad close by to record her new surroundings. One of her new friends is of Japanese descent, which is a key part of the story of Rose’s loyalty to this new friend.
The focus of the book is the actual bombing of Pearl Harbor. Her brother Les needs to be found and her father rushes to the site of the harbor to help with the ships and other servicemen. Rose is an eyewitness to this horrendous event and she records her feelings with her sketch pad. When the bombs start falling and debris is scattered, Rose keeps sketching, especially when the civilians are sent to a shelter. She also finds a stray dog near her house, and the dog becomes an important part of the story.
Being an eye-witness to war is a scary experience that Rose manages to overcome, helping her Japanese friend and the dog along the way.
Knowing this is based on a true story, which author Teresa Funke brings to life, is a great way for children to learn about history. All her books highlight historical events with young children as the main characters, so they are great educational tools for ages 9 and up.
I actually enjoy reading the author’s books for their story content and facts. I wish such books had been available when I was in school, because history seemed boring to me. But Teresa’s books make history come alive!
War on a Sunday Morning is published by Victory House Press, costs $7.95, and is available online and in bookstores. The series makes a nice gift for a young person.