Adler, David. A. 2008. Don't Talk To Me About the War.
"Don't talk to me about the war. It's across the ocean, and I haven't even been to Long Island and that's just over the bridge. What I mean is, the war's so far away and we're not even it it. And anyway, it's all Beth talks about, so if there's any war stuff I should know, she'll tell me."
Don't Talk To Me About the War spans the time of May of 1940 through (in the epilogue at least) December 1941. Tommy Duncan. Our narrator is a young boy whose world is about to change. When we first meet him, his primary interest is in baseball. That and hanging out with his friends. Sounds pretty typical, right? True, he is listening to these games on the radio and following his teams in the newspaper instead of watching the games on TV. And what he does with his friends when they're "hanging out" would be different...still there is something universal about Tommy. Especially when it comes to family and friendship and school.
Friendship. His best friend is a girl, Beth. And she's quite a girl--intelligent and compassionate and beautiful. And he's just beginning to notice just how wonderful she is in that way. So innocent, so hopeful, so curious.
Family. His mother is getting sick--really sick--and no one knows why.
School. He hates it. Really hates it. Until he begins to realize that education may just be useful. That there might be a point to all this work.
Don't Talk To Me is about the meaning of life. It focuses on heart and soul issues of what it means to love someone, need someone, want someone. It's about the nature of life itself. The fragility of life. The beauty of life.
Yes, this one is about war--the rightness or wrongness of going to war in the first place. The questioning of what war means. Examining the issues of life, death, and justice. And it is about baseball. Loving the game, following the game, being loyal to your favorite team. And friendship. And first love. And family. It's a novel about growing up, about growing wise, about making right decisions, about loving others more than yourself.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews