The Night the Bells Rang
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The Night the Bells Rang

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  22 ratings  ·  8 reviews
While the adults talk endlessly about the war overseas, Mason fights his own battles at home with a mean bully named Aden. But then Aden surprises Mason with an unexpected act of kindness. Finally, on the night the bells ring-and World War I ends-Mason lays an old enemy to rest. Readers will identify with this timeless story about a boy's coming-of-age.

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Paperback, 80 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by Puffin (first published 1991)
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Zach Naegele
In this book Mason must face the troubles of youth while also facing the troubles of World War I. Mason is frequently bullied by an older child named Aden, and comes to hate the boy for all that he has done to him. Then on Father’s Day, Mason drops a picture he made for his dad on a frozen river. Aden, while passing by, goes out on ice and fetches it for him. Mason begins to wonder why Aden acts the way he does. Mason’s father tells him that Aden’s dad was an alcoholic, abusive, and now dead. Ma...more
Set during World War I, Mason deals with bullies and growing up. It moved very, very slow for the first 3/4, and ended very satisfyingly. This was on a recent bib of recommended WW1/WW2 books for kids, and I think it was added just because there aren't many WW1 books out there. I don't think I'd recommend it for anything but a classroom readaloud - it's very short (76 pages) and could spark some conversations.
I did debate the fifth star, but for its length, I'm not sure it could have been much better. (See more at if you'd like.)
Miss Amanda
gr 3-6 76 pgs

1918, rural Vermont. Follows the daily life of Mason as he does his farm chores, puts up with his annoying younger brother, and tries to think of a way to get the town bully, Aden, to leave him alone. The story includes occasional mentions of the war (rationing etc), but mostly focuses on town life.

A short, interesting story that shows how no person is all good or all bad.
Apr 13, 2008 Michelle rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lorraine and everyone else
I seem to find myself crying with every one of Natalie's books. They are supposed to be for children, but they are about some really deep and powerful things such as animal cruelty, war, coming of age. I am amazed how she can so quickly take us into her soul-world in just a little book.
good story...liked the details of making maple syrup and apple cider. but the deeper story is that of understanding of what makes another person act as they do.
Her books are short and sweet and I'm looking forward to having her as a visiting author this year.
Edwina Hall Callan
A YA book about life "down on the farm" during WW1.
I really loved this book.
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My sister, three brothers, and I grew up on a Vermont dairy farm in a region known as the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, USA, where my Scottish ancestors settled almost two hundred years ago.

Our lives revolved around our church, our community, and the hard work of farming. Along with milking and feeding the animals each morning and evening, there was the work of each season: maple sugaring, plowing...more
More about Natalie Kinsey-Warnock...
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