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War and Watermelon

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  44 reviews
It's the summer of 1969. We've just landed on the moon, the Vietnam War is heating up, the Mets are beginning their famous World Series run, and Woodstock is rocking upstate New York. Down in New Jersey, twelve-year-old Brody is mostly concerned with the top ten hits on the radio and how much playing time he'll get on the football team. But when he goes along for the ride ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published June 9th 2011 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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3.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  187 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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The Dusty Jacket
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you were to rank boys based on “coolness”, Brody Winslow would be near the bottom…low-middle at best. But things could be worse. It’s August 1969 and his brother Ryan could STILL avoid the draft (if he just got off his butt), the New York Mets COULD win a game (if they just got off their butt), and Brody MIGHT be a starter on his football team (if he could just stay off his butt). All in all, things are looking pretty good. In less than a month, Brody will be starting junior high school and h ...more
Jul 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
Avoiding plot seems to be considered a literary device in teen lit these days, and this book does everything it can to avoid any plot motion. Not only does nothing happen, but all resolution is carefully avoided. There is a hint of romance, but no conclusion either way. There is the prospect of getting drafted for Vietnam, but it goes away. They don't even play the big football game in the end, the main character just thinks about how it might end. Nothing happens, and in my mind, that's not a s ...more
Oct 24, 2011 rated it liked it
Meh. Maybe it's because I'm not a boy?
Ms. Yingling
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it

In the summer of 1969, Brody is dreading junior high while looking forward to playing on the football team. His older brother, Ryan, has just graduated from high school and is stocking shelves at a grocery store, which makes Brody worry that Ryan may soon be drafted. The brothers attend Woodstock, follow the popular rock songs and the Mets baseball season, and try not to have too many generation gap fights with their (shocking!) mother AND father. Brody and his friends also spend a fair amount o
Bailey Lincoln
Nov 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Well the book was about a boy named Brody Winslow who is alive during the 60's,it also takes place during the summer. Brody like to play football he is playing football for his school, he plays football with his best friend Tony. Him and Tony also go to the pool and swim a lot Both Tony and Brody are in the same grade and they both go to the same school.They hang out a lot after Football practice, They talk about these two girls that they like, their names are Patty and Janet. They plan to meet
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Meh. Lots about sports, and not really a "end goal"
Josh Newhouse
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
sweet, kind of reminded me of wonder years ... a little light on plot and resolution but pleasant historical fiction... some mild language and alcohol and pot... I think kids would like it...
Maria Torres
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Marcela
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Good book. Being I was a kid and lived in a similar town and even played middle school football, in addition to being a big Mets fan too, I related greatly to this book. The story is good and well written. The passages about time spent with their father were great. The fear of the parents about the draft and the war were very real as well. Just wish there was some type of resolution to the story. It just kind of ends and you are left hanging.
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it
A fun, pretty light read-- a little football heavy for me, but I bet a teenage boy would get really into it. The story moves quickly, and the characters are likable. Not much in the way of depth or a satisfying conclusion, but lots of good references to 60's music and poetry written through the eyes of the junior-high narrator, which, together, earned it a star from me.
Angela Nicole
Dec 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Decent YA read, and I enjoyed the '60s references, but since I'm not a football fan, those references went past my head. Brody and his family and friends were interesting characters.
Brian O'Leary
Dec 28, 2017 rated it liked it
YA book that does a decent job of dealing with coming of age stuff in the backdrop of Vietnam and Woodstock.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting read into the life of one man in 1969, dealing with the world around him.
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-real-shelf
Just a short and sweet story of kids starting Junior High. I liked it, but probably wouldn't read it again. It was nice to get a better persepective from the time period, I'll say.
Jennifer Cain
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Story starts well but ending left me feeling unsatisfied.
Brooke Barber
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really easy read.
Katie Fitzgerald
The year is 1969, and Brody is twelve years old and living in New Jersey. He spends his time rooting for the New York Mets, listening to the top 40 radio station and charting his favorite songs from week to week, and playing football. His older brother, who will soon be old enough for the draft, has other things on his mind - namely avoiding and protesting against the war in Vietnam. With his brother, Brody has the chance to go briefly to Woodstock, where his mind also starts opening up to some ...more
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
War & Watermelon by Rich Wallace, a Junior Library Guide selection, is set in 1969 in New Jersey just as the Vietnam War is beginning to rage and Woodstock is ready to rock suburban New York. New Jersey brothers Brody and Ryan take a road trip to the concert of their generation as Ryan continues to avoid questions from his parents about his future, particularly college, and the draft. Brody is just about to start junior high school and is eager to join the football team, but his world is ins ...more
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Like a snapshot in history, War & Watermelon takes the reader back to the year 1969 during the months of August and September. A time of war, baseball, football, Woodstock and changes, this is one boy's month to be remembered and will capture the hearts of readers everywhere.

I knew when I began reading War & Watermelon that I was going to be quickly engrossed within twelve-year-old Brody's life and I was not disappointed. The way in which Rich Wallace writes is like sitting down with a f
Dec 05, 2016 rated it liked it
"War and Watermelon" had caught my attention, mostly because it was about the war of Vietnam. The book started off a little slow considering that it was mostly about the main character, Brody, that is involved with football. I do not understand one bit about football. Once it got into the part of him and his brother doing things together, I started to be able to relate a lot more to the book because they have the same relationship that my sister and I do. His brother, Ryan, is being sent off to ...more
Brody Winslow is enjoying the last of the summer. He just made the football team before entering the 7th grade in 1969. He frequently attends the activities at his local swim club. He likes some to the girls but he thinks they have not noticed him yet. His brother Ryan graduated high school last June and has decided not to attend college just yet. But America is engaged in the Vietnam War and if you are 18 and not in college then you get drafted. Ryan’s 18th birthday is fast approaching. Even at ...more
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
A great historical fiction about the late 60's. The main character, Brody, has an older brother, Ryan, who just graduated from High School and doesn't want to go to college. His father is absolutely upset because as soon as he's 18 he could be drafted into the Vietnam War. Ryan has other plans like Woodstock. Brody, who is just 12, gets dragged along for the ride. He learns a lot about growing up from his brother and his brother's girlfriend, Jenny. He also has a best friend, Tony, who teaches h ...more
Aug 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I love books that take place in the '60s and '70s, but this is some bland stuff. The main character isn't terribly interesting, the concern that his older brother could be sent to Vietnam is hammered in over and over, and the details that create the 1969 setting feel shoehorned in (e.g., the "Paul is dead" conversation that doesn't introduce anything new or say interesting, then hopping immediately to tye-dying T-shirts with food coloring). These details either come across as very generic, or el ...more
Nicole Kmiec
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
The intended audience for this novel seems to be for young adult. Overall, it was a well-written book. The plot is about a young adolescent, Brody, who fears the reality of junior high, is hesitant about interactions with girls, loves his brother Ryan, and is terrified for his brother's potential draft for war. All of these conflicts are eventually addressed later in the book. There were a few themes in the book including, love, family, identity, and fear.

This book does not deal with the gruesom
Sep 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
War & Watermelon felt like a well worn shoe, comfortable. I lived these events and angst. Will middle schools find it appealing? Time will tell.

Book Talk:
(Music: The Times They are A'changin) Men walked on the moon. Woodstock. The Mets the worst team in baseball is about to flying into first place.
Girls are a mystery to me, but my best friend Tony is trying to hook me up with one. And my home front is a minefield. If my dad and brother aren't arguing, it must be because they're not talking
Sario Lawrence
Aug 26, 2011 rated it liked it
1969: Woodstock, Vietnam War, the Mets and Jr. High. War and Watermelon takes a snapshot of 12 year old Brody's life in the midst of history happening all around him. His main concerns include night swimming, the top songs on the radio, how the Mets are doing, his fear of fumbling the ball during the big game and if his older brother Ryan will go to college or get drafted. This book captures the way I remember summers, full of swimming, heat, tv and radio. Not a lot happens, but I think that's k ...more
Stephanie Stocks
Brody is coming of age during the turbulent 1960s. The summer before 7th grade, he is trying to secure a spot on the football team and navigate the world of dating. At the same time, his almost 18 year old brother Ryan is trying to figure out his place in the world as the country is fighting a war he doesn't believe in. The innocence of watching baseball collides with the turbulence of Woodstock and war demonstrations in this coming of age novel.
Sharon Kalman
Jan 23, 2012 rated it liked it
Will move it from J to YA: older brother and friends drink alcohol and smoke marijuana (main character never even considers it and it is never offered to him). Otherwise, a good look at 1969 from a 7th grade point of view. Intersting that Woodstock was just a chapter in his life--not the be all and end all, as most books of the late '60's tend to be. Enjoyable.
Nov 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
male protagonist; 1st person.
1960s Vietnam War era
entering 7th grade and a new school
Football/baseball (Mets)**
Older brother relationship (conflict betw war and college)
music, poetry
girls (1st encounter)
Comfortable, easy to read
Great sense of the time period with authentic cultural references
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abondoned
i didnt finish this, i abandoned it. it didnt really captivate my interest, but i've decided when i have to do another research paper for school and iget to pick the topic, it's gonna be on Woodstock. anyways i mean it wasn't the best.
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