LaSchelle's Reviews > On the Wings of Heroes

On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck
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's review
Feb 20, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: youth, fiction, library-borrowed-and-returned, 2009, history, history-wwii, historical-fiction
Read in June, 2009 , read count: 1

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 but hurt her with the girls." and his description of her skills on p 76 "Her manicure was better than her math."

Of course there's a bully with her two henches (or wenches) that tortures the class and the teacher. But the new teacher (or perhaps resurrected teacher) teachs the bully a thing or two.

My favorite quotes:

p 20 Davy and his father were hiding in their car after setting a trap so that those who participated in "pinning horns" would have a great opportunity to be successful (windows rolled down, doors unlocked, but the unsuspecting criminal wouldn't see Davy and his dad hiding). Davy was pondering who might do such a thing. "It was bound to be one of the Rogers boys, and I didn't want to be a witness. It wouldn't be Jinx, who kept his nose clean with his senior basketball season coming up. But there were several other Rogeres, all bad dreams."

`p 36/37 When Davy is discussing the war slogan "LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS" that hung over his teacher, Miss Mossman's desk, "If we knew miliary secrets, we weren't to tell anybody who could be a fifth-columnist, which was he wartime word for spy. I took this personally since I couldn't keep a secret."

p 37 "Every Thursday we brought as many dimes as we had for pink War Savings Stamps to stick in a booklet. When you had eighteen dollars and seventy cents, you traded the booklet for a War Bond. It would mature in ten years and be worth twenty-five dollars. 'I hope you children mature in ten years,' Miss Mossman said."

p 38 Loved the story of Mrs. Meece and the rubber girdle she had to come claim during class as her son had turned it in to help with the war effort. Apparently, Mrs. Meece was a large lady and she needed it for her Eastern Star luncheon. Seems most of the kids just took things from home without asking.

p 56 "The problem with old people, as we were to learn, was that they always had a job for you."

p 62 "'Earl, you tell me what this war is for when you find out,' he said to Dad. 'You tell me what the last one was for.' The fire in his old eyes flared, but his head drooped.
"Dad put his hand out on Mr. Stonecypher's sloping shoulder. He kept it there, and Mr. Stonecypher put his face in his old hands. There was a bad, shaky sound like a sob.
"'I wish I could tell you,' Dad said in a voice half his size.
"Mr. Stonecypher swallowed hard. 'You got through it, Earl.' He looked up, and his old face glistened. 'You may have been roughted up, but you came through and come back and had your life and your boys.'
"'I did,' Dad said, 'but a lot of the best ones didn't make it.'"

p 70 "'Just so you know,' she said, 'that cake took two weeks' sugar ration.'
"'Sixteen ounces,' Scooter said.
"She gave him a look. 'You're the sharpest tool in the shed, aren't you?'
"He looked modest. Also, he had a buttermilk mustache. Miss Titus was real.
"'He's the smartest kid in our grade.' I said, which was true."

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Reading Progress

06/14/2009 page 81
50.63% "Richard Peck is truly a gifted story teller. I'm taken in by the Bowmans!"

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