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Jimmy's Stars

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  155 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
It’s September 1943, and eleven-year-old Ellie McKelvey’s older brother, Jimmy, has just been drafted. Jimmy has a joyful heart and a kind word for everyone, and he’s the only person who thinks Ellie is smart and funny and as beautiful as Lana Turner, the movie star. Ellie can hardly stand to see him go. With Jimmy gone, Aunt Toots moves into his bedroom, Ellie’s mother ta ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Aug 18, 2008 Becky rated it liked it

The two people Ellie McKelvey hated most were Adolf Hitler and Victoria Gandeck. Hitler lived in Germany, but Victoria was just across the alley. And right now, Ellie hated Victoria more.

Jimmy's Stars is the story of a family on the homefront in World War II. Ellie, our heroine, is a young girl, only eleven, when her brother Jimmy is sent to war. In one way, she's proud. His being at home won't give anyone in the neighborhood or at her school the ammunition to tease her and her family for being
Ellie is living in a world marked by the photos on her teacher's wall and the stars hanging in people's windows. It's World War Two and a blue star means someone is serving, a gold one means someone is 'lost'. Then Ellie's brother, who has had a deferment from the draft due to their father's accident, is called up . . .

I found this book a little hard to get into at first - in fact I had to put it down and start it again. Ellie is, in the beginning, not the most likable character, though she soon
Jun 23, 2009 Allison rated it liked it
Rodman, Mary Ann Jimmy’s Stars, 272 pgs, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); Language~G, Sexual Content~G; Violence~PG

In today’s world of an all volunteer military, the draft doesn’t stir up the sense of fear that it once did. During both World Wars and Vietnam our country has drafted men to build their military. This meant that if your draft number came up, you stopped your life and became a soldier and sometimes you didn’t come home.

Ellie adores her older brother. He makes her feel special and i
Jan 03, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok
This stateside historical fiction (set in Pittsburgh) of life during WWII was relatively realistic. The characters seemed real, from Ellie's love for, and faith in, her brother Jimmy to her "nemesis" Victoria's reactions to her letters from Jimmy, to Sal's desire to grow up, to the neighbors and teachers. Equally real was the sense of a time in which things were unsure, and in which people had to Make Sacrifices (roller skates, for example, or eating "ground meat" of unknown origin).

What felt le
Jun 12, 2008 Shelley rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth, historical
This broke my heart over and over. Ellie was really self-absorbed at the start, and remarkably insulated from the war for late 1943. (A few lines made this make sense, though - she and her friends talking about how no one they knew had died at war, so anyone they did know wouldn't, and it wasn't until summer 1944 that they saw anyone come home that wasn't in perfect physical condition. Of course the newsreels wouldn't show soldiers missing limbs or their minds.) As the war began to directly affe ...more
Mar 17, 2010 Stefanie rated it really liked it
This was another recommendation from Olivia--one of her all-time favorite books. This is a great historical fiction book about a 12 year old girl, Ellie, living in Pittsburgh during WWI and coping with her older, beloved brother going off to war. The book is very sad and has some adult themes.

I loved this book because the author did a wonderful job of depicting Ellie...she seemed so real and so child-like for the era. The relationship between Ellie and her older brother, Jimmy is so well-written
Jan 20, 2016 Jaymie rated it liked it
This was a 3.5 stars for me. I thought the author did a wonderful job of not only portraying life stateside during WWII, but of life in Pittsburgh during the time, using colloquialisms like "yunz" and referencing regional items like "chipped ham."

There are so many books about the Holocaust, and the soldier's of WWII, I love that this book shows a different side of it - the family home waiting, wondering about their loved one.

I wouldn't hesistate to recommend this to any student curious about W
Dec 26, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Solid WWII historical fiction. Ellie is a believable and spunky twelve year old who has a close relationship with her brother Jimmy who goes off to war. We see her home front life - compelte with rations, her aunt becoming Rosie the Riveter and her rivalry with the girl next door. Set in my home town Pittsburgh, I hoped for more setting background besides a few Pittsburgh phrases and jaunts to West View Park. The plot was predictable. I also wished to know more about Jimmy before he left for the ...more
Meh. I thought this was going to better but then again, this was from the point of view of an 11 year old girl, so naturally I found some bits immature and annoying, but I guess that's a good thing as the author managed to interpret her so well. Still though, it's a bit cliched in bits.

Spoiler Ahead. Read at your own risk!

(view spoiler)
Jul 08, 2008 Jan rated it really liked it
Set during WWII, this book is one of my favorites so far this year. It's a look at the homefront through the eyes of a young girl whose brother has just been drafted, but who promises to be home by Christmas. It's the only thing that keeps Ellie's spirits up. Not only is Jimmy her best friend, but he calls her "Movie Star" and tells her she is beautiful, the only one who thinks so.

Rodman has created a real sense of time and place with this book, and as much as I loved her first book, "Yankee Gir
Jan 31, 2009 Deana rated it liked it
This book is about Ellie, whose beloved older brother Jimmy goes to fight in World War II. Many of the other kids in the neighborhood also have brothers and fathers in the war, and they get together to share letters from their loved ones. The story is quite predictable, but still pretty good. Actually, what I enjoyed the most was learning about the terminology and the way of life at the time. There are many words that are no longer in use, descriptions of people sitting in cafes getting fountain ...more
Seo Woo
May 19, 2012 Seo Woo rated it liked it
This book was okay. When I first saw the cover, and read the blurb, I thought that it'd be a really good book, but it wasn't that good as I thought it'd be. I've read a lot of books about the people IN the world war II, but not that much books about the people with loved ones IN world war II. I was always curious about how normal life was like at home, and this book helped me find out more about those things. I want to read more books in the same topic.
Nancy Cadle Craddock
Aug 14, 2010 Nancy Cadle Craddock rated it it was amazing
I love this book and its snappy dialogue. Although it is a heavy topic (World War II), author Mary Ann Rodman lightens it in places where its needed and yet, reminds us that no one wins when nations go to war. Eleven-year-old Ellie McKelvey's life is turned upside down when her beloved brother Jimmy is drafted and her Aunt Toots moves in. It is a must read for those who love great mid-grades for children.
Feb 01, 2014 Taylor rated it liked it
Well Written. I could tell there was good research behind the story and I felt the 40's were portrayed pretty well. There were a few questionable things. Mostly just having to do with the main character's ridiculously boy-crazy/ flirting sister. The ending was sad with Jimmy being killed, but the author did a nice job wrapping up the story. Probably wouldn't recommend.
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
This is a gentle, very realistic, and emotionally true historical fiction. I like how Ellie is totally believable and how her and her family's struggles serve as a typical portrait of the WWII American home front. If there is any bias from the author, it is not heavy-handed and the readers are left to make their own conclusions and belief after reading the story.
Jan 13, 2010 Jackie rated it liked it
This is a year in the life of Ellie and her town after Ellie's brother enlists to fight in WWI, as they watch and wait for the telegrams from the war department, the return of soldiers who are injured, the letters from loved ones, and changes the war has made to and in their town. This story started out slow for me and then picked up.
Oct 30, 2008 Melissa rated it really liked it
A touching, poignant (that's what we say when someone dies) look at war and how it touches our ordinary, everyday, American war. A subtle rebuke in it for everyone who doesn't remember the regular joes, the ones that got drafted and died. A good book.
Feb 28, 2011 Kim rated it liked it
Ellie is very close to her brother Jimmy. When Jimmy is drafted to fight in WWII, Ellie worries ab out him and lives for his letters home. After he doesn't come home for Christmas, like he promised, the War comes closer to home
Aug 18, 2008 Bellezza rated it really liked it
I read this for the Children's Book Blog tour. Normally, I wouldn't have picked up a book dealing with war. But, this was a powerful book with a message of hope for those who have a soldier in their families.
May 14, 2012 Vicki rated it liked it
Shelves: tween
Ellie McElvey's beloved brother is drafted into WWII and promises he will come back. This is a book about how a family and a community deal with those brothers, uncles, dads and sons who participated in this war. Great story on the feelings of those in this story.
Jean Mazzetta
Aug 19, 2009 Jean Mazzetta rated it liked it
Mary Ann Rodman used old family letters to research this story of a young girl, Ellie, who is struggling to make family sacrifices for the WW II war effort. Entirely personal, this story touches the heart as Ellie comes to grips with the ultimate sacrifice.
Nov 24, 2008 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Ellie and her brother Jimmy have a relationship that we all hope to have with our siblings. When Jimmy has to serve in the military during World War II Ellie must find her way without her big brother. Very tender. Very inspiring. A rare five star for me.
Aug 12, 2016 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: probably Lauren and Marisa. Maybe Maggie...
Jimmy's Stars is such a good's very touching and Mary Ann Rodman makes you feel like you're the one feeling the pain of Jimmy going to war instead of the main character.
Aug 05, 2008 Cindy rated it it was amazing
This was a great historical fiction about a girl, Ellie, and her big brother Jimmy during WWII. When Jimmy is sent off to war, Ellie's life is changed forever.
Aug 20, 2008 Anne marked it as to-read
I started this book and couldn't get past the first couple pages. The writing annoyed me and kept me from getting into the story. I'll try it again when I'm in a better mood.
Jun 28, 2008 Heather rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: World War II, brothers, sisters, family, patriotism, draft
Ellie is heart-broken when her big brother is drafted into the war (WWII). She clings to his promise to come home safely, but some promises shouldn't be made.

Mohamed rated it liked it
Feb 08, 2016
Sophia rated it really liked it
Nov 06, 2008
Winkle rated it really liked it
Jun 23, 2014
Penguinsalwayscry rated it did not like it
May 04, 2009
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Mary Ann Rodman, a former school media specialist and university librarian, is the author of First Grade Stinks!, Yankee Girl, and My Best Friend. She has received both the Ezra Jack Keats Award for Outstanding New Picture Book Writer and the Charlotte Zolotow Award. Rodman holds a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and an MFA in Writing for Child ...more
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