On the Wings of Heroes
by Richard Peck
Great Stone Face Nominee, 2008-2009
(Better for 5th grade - will end up on that "list" next year but booktalk it to both 4th and 5th for the GSF)
On the Wings of Heroes is by Richard Peck. This book is historical fiction. Historical
fiction books are from the author’s imagination yet set
in an actual time and place in history. This story takes place in the year 1941, as World War II was just beginning for the United States.
When the United States enters World War II, life changes for everyone, including Davy Bowman. Davy's older brother Bill enlists and becomes a bombardier on
a B-17, flying dangerous missions over Germany. Davy's mom and dad worry about his brother, waiting anxiously for news about him. Instead of playing hide-and-go-seek, Davy and his friend Scooter spend their time collecting metal, paper, and milkweed for the war effort, and meet the town's cast of quirky characters.
Davy and Scooter are combing the countryside for milkweed, which will be used to fill life vests, when they spot a very interesting barn, and inside the barn, a very cool old car. They start exploring the barn and the car, when suddenly ...
Read: p. 67 " an explosion about busted my eardrums. Hail rattled the roof from a clear blue sky."
Through p. 70 "He looked modest. Also, he had a buttermilk mustache. Miss Titus's was real."
Sugar, shoes, toothpaste, and car tires are all rationed, leaving Davy wearing shoes many sizes too small while he waits for his turn to get larger ones. But school goes on (with Miss Titus as a surprise substitute!), and Davy's adventures with his friends and his father keep him busy with funny and sometimes sad adventures and misadventures while he waits to hear news of his brother Bill, flying secret missions overseas.
Sara Zoë Patterson
August 2008, revised 10/08