Stepping on the Cracks

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9780380719006: Stepping on the Cracks

Margaret and her best friend Elizabeth both have brothers fighting the war against Hitler and, like everyone else they know, they are filled with feelings of patriotism. But the girls are also involved in their own personal war at home. Gordy Smith, the worst bully in sixth grade, teases and torments them, and Margaret is scared to death of him. But when Gordy and his pals Toad and Doug grow bolder than ever, Margaret and Elizabeth come up with a daring plan to get even. That's when the girls discover a shocking secret about Gordy that turns their lives upside-down and draws them into a startling confrontation with family, friends...and their own strongly held ideas.

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About the Author:

Mary Downing Hahn is the best-selling author of more than twenty award-winning books for young readers, including Stepping on the Cracks, which won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Anna on the Farm is the follow-up to Anna All Year Round, both based on the author’s mother’s memoirs about growing up in Maryland pre-World War I.

From Publishers Weekly:

Most WW II homefront novels are unambiguous in their approach to patriots and traitors, allies and enemies. Hahn's subtle, thought-provoking work, however, proposes the legitimacy of a variety of ethical responses to critical situations. Margaret's brother Jimmy is overseas fighting, and Margaret and her parents avidly follow news of Allied advances. She and best friend Elizabeth, united in their dislike of Gordy the bully, slowly uncover several ominous secrets: Gordy is helping his older brother Stuart, an Army deserter, hide in a weatherworn shack in the woods; and Gordy's father batters his mother, his siblings and Gordy himself. At first Margaret and Elizabeth see their discovery of Stuart's shack as a way to "blackmail" Gordy into treating them decently, but when Stuart falls dangerously ill, the girls feel obliged to help care for him. Soon they begin to reexamine the standard propaganda about the war. While some of her characters seem anachronistic and certain developments are unlikely, Hahn succeeds in raising questions as valuable as they are vexing. Ages 9-12.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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