Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374337032, 272pp.
Publication Date: April 29, 2008
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 takes a war job at a factory, and everything in Ellie’s life seems upside down. But she figures that the war will be over and Jimmy home by Christmas, so as much as she misses him, she keeps her spirits up. Even as families in the neighborhood begin to receive telegrams informing them that their boys are wounded or worse, Ellie never stops believing in Jimmy.
In her second work of historical fiction, Mary Ann Rodman captures all the authentic details of life on the homefront during World War II, as well as the fierce love a sister has for her beloved big brother.Jimmy's Stars is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
“Beautifully crafted . . . Ellie’s intense outpouring of grief is masterfully portrayed, and Rodman’s painstaking attention to historical detail creates a vividly realized sense of time and place. Readers will find this emotionally gripping story of love and loss profoundly moving.” —Starred, Kirkus Reviews"Finds beauty in every emotional nuance as Ellie hurtles between self pity, denial, and even rage toward her brother for having “welshed on the deal.” The lively spirit of working-class Pittsburgh, where neighborhood families live for news of the war and the fate of their sons, extends Ellie’s personal story with a broader sense of homefront life. Suggest this fine novel as enrichment to World War II curricula." —Starred, Booklist "This psychological, child-oriented war perspective could provide significance in today's military dilemma." —School Library Journal "Rodman's careful attention to Ellie and Jimmy's pre-enlistment domestic rituals and to their upbeat, encouraging correspondence establishes the tight, affectionate bond between brother and sister." —Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books
“Packed with intimate details about life in America during World War II, this book will leave readers with a meaningful picture of what it was like to live through those very hard years.” —Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Review