Patricia Reilly Giff
World War II affects the lives of everyone – even the young Margaret, or Meggie as she prefers. Meggie’s older brother has been sent off to war, while her Grandpa is constantly ridiculed for being German. Meggie has concerns about each of them, because she often listens to the opinions of others instead of her own opinion. Her world is once again changed when her father decides to move the family to Willow Run so he can work at a factory making B-24 bombers for the war. Her best friend, her grandpa, and all she knows behind her, she seeks to find herself in this new place. This is a story of change, camaraderie, and courage as Meggie discovers what is important to her while in Willow Run.
This book related to my life because I have gone through many changes in my life – all of which I had to learn new things. I have had to make new friends. I have had to learn lessons from my mistakes. I have had to hope that someone would come back. I also know what it is like to live so close to other people – to hear every little thing they do and say.
Ideas for Use in Classroom
I would probably have the students discuss what they liked about the book and what they did not like. There would be many questions about how we view other people (i.e. the way Meggie and her friends viewed Arnold and the way other people viewed her grandpa). I think there is also something to be said about how each season of our lives only last for a short time. This book is filled with ways in which Meggie grew that the students would also need to know. That would definitely be a great topic.
Another aspect that could be taken with this is the aspect of letter writing. Throughout the book, Meggie wrote a lot of letters. I could have the students write a letter to someone about a specific topic in the book. -AB