Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “On the Wings of Heroes” as Want to Read:
On the Wings of Heroes
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

On the Wings of Heroes

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  1,140 Ratings  ·  240 Reviews
Davy Bowman’s dad and brother hung the moon. Dad looks forward to Halloween more than a kid, and Davy’s brother, Bill, flies B-17s. Davy adores these two heroes and tries his best to follow their lead, especially now.
World War II has invaded Davy’s homefront boyhood. There’s an air raid drill in the classroom, and being a kid is an endless scrap drive. Bill has joined up,
Audio, 0 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published February 15th 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Aug 12, 2009 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Richard Peck never disappoints. He may well be my favorite author. His books are always full of heart-warming, side-splitting, illuminating, and page-turning details. I. LOVE. HIM. Okay, maybe not HIM, but his writing, for sure.

I read this book in two days. Before you think I've shirked my motherly duties, let me say this: the book was a mere 148 pages. Easy to read half of the book after the chitlins have gone to bed. Especially when the read was such a good one.

Davy is enamoured with his two h
Janet Ross
Jun 14, 2011 Janet Ross rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was sucha "feel good" story. It was informative about what
the families back home went through, and at the same time,
I felt like I was almost reading about my own youth,
growing up in a small town, and playing games with
not only the neighbors but my Dad. Good values, and
the fun of a Father who loved to play pranks and teach good values
to others!
Jul 12, 2016 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book. Sweet and poignant. It shows a slice of wartime life on the homefront better than any history text I've read.
Sue Leatherman
Davy Bowman remembers, "Nobody was a stranger before the war."

The Illinois neighborhood rang with the sounds of children playing hide-and-seek, of neighbors sharing stories on their front porch, and of laughter from the delights of successful Halloween antics. Davy Bowman's world is happy and safe because of his heroes, his Dad and his older brother Bill, who always seemed to find time to do things with Davy.

Pearl Harbor is bombed and Davy's world changes. His Dad becomes the local air raid war
Austen to Zafón
Richard Peck is an amazing writer. Despite how short his novels are, he fleshes out interesting characters and hints at whole other stories attached to them. His historical detail is accurate, interesting, and often funny. This book is no exception. It takes place just before and during WWII in a small town. The main character is 11-13 and the story is told from his perspective. He gathers newspapers and metal for the war effort, learns to identify planes, and notices how the town becomes a plac ...more
On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck was trying much too hard at the start, and as a result, had a decidedly To Kill a Mockingbird vibe, complete with adult themes recounted from a child’s perspective, the overwhelmed teacher, and upstanding father. It found its own voice eventually (and it’s a short YA novel), and became the story of young Davy Bowman, his family, friends, and all those on the homefront in his town for the duration as Davy’s brother, Bill, goes off to fight in the war, traini ...more
Amy Brown
Dec 09, 2007 Amy Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WWII, boys, historical fiction
Shelves: 4th-6thgrade
I don't read a lot of Richard Peck books and I'm not a big historical fiction person. But I really liked this book. Davy Bowman is growing up during WWII with a father who was a soldier in WWI and won't talk about his experience at all and a brother who is learning to fly planes. Each short chapter talks about Davy's life as he wishes for a Schwinn bike, collects various products for the war effort, gets into scraps as he adventures out with his best friend, and hopes that his brother will give ...more
Oct 06, 2009 Kimberly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Richard Peck book and I'm definitely looking for more! A wonderfully written coming-of-age story it starts when Davy is 10 or 11 before WWII and ends at the end of the war. It had the same general feel to me as To Kill a Mockingbird-- the child narrator with larger adult issues, neighbor characters, small town feeling, and strong father figure. I loved the characters and got goosebumps at the end. There are so many WWII books for YA out there but I feel like I now have a better ...more
Sep 16, 2007 Melody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a writer Peck is. Here's another terrific tale, this one about WWII as seen through a boy's eyes. Peck evokes the time with great sensitivity and some humor while managing to communicate some fierce truths about war and love and parenting. Highly recommended.
Jan 17, 2016 Annette rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Peck has become one of my favorite authors and this book is just a sweet taste of a small town boy during WWII.

This would be a great novel for my grandsons, ages 11 and 12. And, this would be a good audio book to listen to on a family road trip.
Raymond Bial
Dec 21, 2012 Raymond Bial rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is such a sweet, yet heartbreaking story about all the young heroes of World War II, both on the front and back home in all the little towns across America.
Miranda H.
I personally didn't like this book at all. not that other people won't but the only exciting part is in like somewhere by the last chapter.
if you like historical fiction you might like it. I really didn't
Nov 16, 2016 Ted rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A heart warming read reminiscent of Jean Shepherd stories.
The story of WWII through the eyes of teen. Davy's father was injured in WWI and thought his service would ensure that he would never have to send one of his own to fight in war. Well, he has to send his son Bill into WWII. Bill is Davy's hero.

A sweet story of how middle America was effected by war. The rationing, the collection of materials to support the war effort. A very quick read.

I loved the description of their teacher Miss Landis on p 75 "She was real pretty, which helped with the boys b
Alex Baugh
Apr 21, 2014 Alex Baugh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-2
You can't go wrong when you chose a book by Richard Peck to read and On the Wings of Heroes is not exception. This gentle home front story takes place in middle America, in a family like so many others at that time.

Before the war, narrator Davy Bowman tells us, it was always summer, except when it was Halloween or Christmas. Summer meant exciting games of Hide and Seek with all the kids, including his big brother Bill and his dad, Earl, the biggest kid on the block. Halloween 1941, Davy is a cu
May 16, 2014 Pandora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Davey tells of the years of living on the home front during World War II. Davy especially focuses on his two heroes his Dad who is veteran of World War I and his older brother, Billy, who is currently fighting in World War II.

This story was a very effective telling of how difficult the years were doing World War II. It brings to life the joys and sorrows of the time. The fun of collecting for the various drives of needed supplies and his father’s crazy enjoyment of life as the biggest kid in to
Steven Brandt (Audiobook-Heaven)
On the Wings of Heroes wasn’t a bad book, but I didn’t think it was all that. The audiobook didn’t have much of a plot, but I did enjoy Richard Peck’s sketches of stateside life during World War II. The story is told from the perspective of a pre-teen boy whose older brother has gone to the war in Europe. On the Wings of Heroes isn’t really about the war, though. Instead it covers things like scrap drives, air-raid drills, food and gas rations, and blackouts. The adventures of the main charact ...more
Jun 05, 2015 Julian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book had a lot of thrillers! But it being about world war II I didn't believe It would be exciting but it really was! I do recommend this book because it is a joy to read, the first few pages weren't that exciting but the rest was just amazing! I believe war " buffs " or enthusiasts would enjoy reading this because its about the war or even people that are just interested in the war should read this this book talks about a family where the dad gets shipped off into the war, and th ...more
Sep 30, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this author. Peck is funny and writes hysterical historical fiction for young people (like his Newbery-Honor-winning A Long Way From Chicago and the Newbery-Medal-winning A Year Down Yonder). But what I like best about him is that he grew up in Decatur, Illinois and writes about his childhood. I've met Mr. Peck at conferences and he KNOWS my high school English teacher. He knows the road where my parents live. Scary, but true. If you ever have the chance to hear Mr. Peck speak, he is wort ...more
Sarah Sammis
May 26, 2009 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I saw the review of On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck at Maw Books Blog. I had enjoyed Past Perfect Present Tense and wanted to read something else by the author. I'm glad I took recommendation and picked this novel about growing up during World War Two.

Davy Bowman narrates the novel, recounting the way the Second World War affected his town, his family and his life. The book begins at Halloween with his older brother shipping off to learn how to be a B-17 pilot. While the older brother rep
Jul 08, 2012 Kami rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a good story, because really, does Richard Peck write any books that aren't good? However, I'm only giving it three stars because I didn't think it had the depth of many of his other books.

I loved how he tied in multiple wars into the basically WWII story and how he made it clear that war's effects don't remain just the length of a war, but whole lifetimes. I liked how especially Scooter, the main character's friend, comes to question whether the sacrifices they (soldiers, c
Noah Miller
I read the book called, " On the Wings of Heroes" by Richard Peck. The story takes place in a small town in America during World War II. Davy lives in a small town with his mom, dad, and older brother Bill. The story is about Davy's life before the war came.

The purpose of the author writing this book,is about how families changed throughout America because of the war. The Author was showing the importance of sacerifce, family, friendship,and community.Davy went through a lot when the war star
NCPL Teenzone
What makes someone a hero? Is it the feats of a mythical figure like Superman, who swoops out the sky to save the day? Is it your favorite sports star who makes the impossible catch to win the game? What about the heroes that are much closer to home? The heroes who put their lives on the line everyday to provide for us and to protect us.

Davy Bowman would tell you that his heroes are his father and his brother Bill. Dad runs the service station but always has time for his boys. Bill is in the Ar
Aug 12, 2009 Suzan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-fiction
This story takes place during World War II, and Davy, the young boy in the story, feels the effects; his big brother has joined the Air Force, he and his friend Scooter are kept busy by endless scrap drives, food and shoes and gasoline are being rationed. You feel a sense of the time...doing things for "the duration", stars hanging in windows, victory gardens, new war-time songs, the dreaded telegram being delivered to your home. Richard Peck has a fabulous sense of humor, and creates characters ...more
Apr 28, 2014 Patti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge Richard Peck fan so the stars started accumulating with the author name on the front; another star added for the heart-grabber title, “On the Wings of Heroes”; then that cover picture boosted it to a 5-star rating from me – and that was all before I even opened the book!

It could only go down from there, but it stayed 5 Stars to the end!

Taking place around WW II, (which is long before my time) I closed the final page having just experienced a wonderful, and very personal story of ju
Awhile back, Audible had this sale on under reviewed audiobooks and made them like $5, I bought the longer books and then for the really short ones that I was curious about, I went to the library. On The Wings Of Heroes by Richard Peck was definitely the perfect length of audiobook to borrow from the library. I was curious, but not curious enough to spend $5 on four hours of narration. I know, I know that makes me incredibly cheap. While I enjoyed On The Wings Of Heroes and the themes of family ...more
Mar 03, 2009 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
This is not as funny as some of Richard Peck's other work, although there is one roll on the floor/wipe your eyes funny spot. There is humor, there is tenderness, there is understanding at a deep level of families being affected by war. My guess is there is a lot of autobiographical material in it. There are moments when you can really feel and almost taste and smell 1943. It was a time when everyone "fought" the war whether you were on the front lines or taking up collections at home. It made m ...more
With my interest in WWII viewpoints, this was a good book to show a US small town boy and how the war affects him, his family, and his community. It wasn't all war-war-war. In fact, I think my favorite parts were his adventures with his friend, and the escapades in school. typical of the author, I found myself laughing when I hadn't expected to. It also took me a while to get into the book (as happened with the other books). But his ability to create atmosphere and characters who seem so alive t ...more
Emily Townsley
Fiction/Coming of age/World War II

On The Wings of Heroes is a story about a young boy who tells his story about life before and during World War II. He praises the energy and spirit of his dad, who served in World War I and doesn’t talk about his experiences. The boy however, knows that the war deeply affected his dad. Then World War II starts and his brother goes to war. This causes tension in the family, but life goes on. It is a story of wartime America from a child’s perspective and the grow
Oct 19, 2013 Nanci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Peck has a great way with words that makes you laugh and feel as he describes life in another time and another place. This one takes place during World War II and describes life in the home of Davy Bowen. His dad had fought in the first World War and his brother is training to be a bomber pilot for this second World War. A description of what is important to a little boy during this time and what he sees and feels in wonderful. I am not sure I would have appreciated this so much when I w ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: #37 On the Wings of Heroes 1 3 Jun 11, 2015 04:42PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #10 - On the Wings of Heroes 1 1 Feb 02, 2015 03:40PM  
  • Red Moon at Sharpsburg
  • Water Street
  • The Aurora County All-Stars
  • Way Down Deep (Way Down Deep, #1)
  • A Thousand Never Evers
  • When I Crossed No-Bob
  • The Cookcamp
  • The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had
  • Eyes of the Emperor
  • The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
  • Dark Water Rising
  • The Seven Wonders of Sassafras Springs
  • A Medal for Leroy
  • Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906
  • The Loud Silence of Francine Green
  • Iron Thunder: The Battle Between the Monitor & the Merrimac
  • The Last Newspaper Boy in America
  • Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller
Richard Peck is an American novelist known for his prolific contributions to modern young adult literature. He was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2001 for his novel A Year Down Yonder.

Richard Peck was born in 1934 in Decatur, Illinois, a town he describes as quiet and safe. His mother, Virginia, was a dietitian and his father, Wayne, was a merchant who often rode his Harley Davidson to work.

More about Richard Peck...

Share This Book