Blueberries for the Queen

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9780066239439: Blueberries for the Queen
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In 1942 Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, living in exile after theNazi invasion of her country, spent the summer in Lee, Massachusetts,with her daughter and granddaughters. The following is based on a truestory....

It’s summertime in New England during World War II, and a boy namedWilliam likes to imagine at bedtime that he is a brave knight fightinggreat battles to end the war. But in the morning he is always justWilliam again, not big enough to contribute to the war effort like therest of his family.

Then a real queen moves in just down the road: Queen Wilhelmina of theNetherlands. William’s parents explain that the queen has been forced out of her country because of the war. Now William has his chance to do something. It may not be “war work” -- it’s more like peace work—but that makes all the difference.

Susan Jeffers’s dramatic illustrations portray the compelling contrastbetween William’simagination and the real events in the story, which are based on anactual incident in John Paterson’s childhood. Visually stunning, with anevocative, poignant telling, this is the picture-book art form at itsfinest.

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About the Author:

Katherine Paterson was born in China, where she spent part of her childhood. After her education in China and the American South, she spent four years in Japan, the setting for her first three novels. Ms. Paterson has received numerous awards for her writing, including National Book Awards for The Master Puppeteer and The Great Gilly Hopkins, as well as Newbery Medals for Jacob Have I Loved and Bridge to Terabithia. Ms. Paterson lives with her husband in Vermont. They have four grown children.

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 3–It's 1942 and William's mom has just confirmed that a real queen has moved into an estate near their New England farm. Much to his older brother's amusement, William imagines the woman doing her errands in cape and gown. He also frets over his inability to contribute anything to the war effort, so when Dad suggests that picking blueberries is equally important as "peace work," William decides to try and chase some of the queen's worries away by presenting her with a basket of his most impressive berries. A kind lady (Princess Juliana of the Netherlands) invites him into the house and agrees that he should meet the queen. The grandmotherly woman (Queen Wilhelmina) is not what William expected, but he is delighted with the gracious reception he receives and returns home bursting with excitement. Based on John Paterson's actual experience (described in a historical note), this lengthy picture book draws a rather romanticized vision of farm life in the '40s and presents a hopeful story that mitigates the despairing events of the times. The banter between William and his supercilious older brother rings a bit more true than Dad's homespun philosophizing, but the innocence and naïveté of the place and time shine through. Jeffers's watercolor-and-ink illustrations perfectly juxtapose scenes of domestic reality with the boy's wistful daydreams of knights and heroic quests. Pair this earnest tale with Shulamith Levey Oppenheim's The Lily Cupboard (HarperTrophy, 1995) as they both share the same time period and rural locale, but are two fascinatingly diverse experiences set on opposite sides of the Atlantic.–Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780066239422: Blueberries for the Queen

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ISBN 10:  0066239427 ISBN 13:  9780066239422
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2004
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9780064438742: Blueberries for the Queen

Harper..., 2009
Softcover

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