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Don't You Know There's a War On? [Library Binding]

Avi
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 25 2008 1435263928 978-1435263925 Reprint

World War II is on everyone's mind and in every headline, and Howie Crispers has a hunch that his school principal is a spy. With a little snooping around, Howie finds out something even more alarming. Principal Lomister may not be a spy, but he is plotting to get rid of Howie's favorite teacher. Howie's dad is fighting Nazis overseas, and his mom is working hard to support the war effort, so Miss Gossim is the only person Howie can depend on. With the help of his friends, and a plan worthy of radio show superhero Captain Midnight, Howie intends to save Miss Gossim!

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Sixteen-year-old Howie Crispers narrates Avi's (The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle) poignant, funny coming-of-age tale set in Brooklyn during WWII. For the facts, readers can consult Stephen E. Ambrose's excellent volume (reviewed below), but for a flavor of everyday life on the homefront, they will appreciate Howie's recollections of his experiences as a fifth grader during one pivotal week in March 1943. The hero juggles everything from failing math grades and air raid blackouts to a crush on his teacher and worries about his merchant marine father, criss-crossing the North Atlantic. Howie also suspects his principal of being a Nazi spy, and follows him into a brownstone one morning where he overhears plans to fire his beloved teacher, Miss Rolanda Gossim (he thinks of her at night when fear overtakes him: "She was my emergency brake, my life raft, my parachute, my own private rescue squad"). How he "saves" Miss Gossim makes for a smashing story enlivened by the added emotional texture of a boy dealing with wartime realities (particularly the death of his "bestest" friend Denny's father) and romance (Miss Gossim is actually married to a missing airman and pregnant). Howie's voice, firmly rooted in Brooklyn ("You'd feel worse than a Giants fan in Ebbets Field," he says of disappointing Miss Gossim), takes on the inflections and slang of the era. The novel ends on an upbeat note, with 16-year-old Howie celebrating the end of the war and still carrying a torch for Miss Gossim. Ages 8-12.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6-Howard Bellington Crispers looks back from his 16-year-old perspective to 1943 when he grappled with issues of friendship, fear, love, and loss. At age 11, Howie and his friend Denny share a crush on their teacher and they suspect their principal is a Nazi spy. However, in a sleuthing expedition, Howie learns that the principal's real perfidy hits closer to home-he is urging the firing of Miss Gossim. Howie visits his teacher and she tells him the reason for her pending dismissal-she is secretly married to an army pilot and is pregnant. Taking up her cause and disregarding his promise to keep her secret, Howie circulates a petition to stop the firing, embarrassing the young woman but securing her a reprieve until the end of the school year. Avi packs the story with authentic details of World War II in Brooklyn, NY, augmented by newspaper headlines. He peppers it with funny scenes, lots of slang dialogue between the boys, and a keen sensitivity to the adolescent psyche. Layered into the plot is the drama of the boys' absent fathers. Howie's returns but Denny's is killed, and the bittersweet ending reflects the protagonist's regret over losing Denny's friendship when his own family moves to Long Island. Though lacking in originality, this quick-moving, easily read story will be enjoyed by many readers. A more serious, complex, and in-depth treatment of a similar theme can be found in Janet Taylor Lisle's beautifully wrought The Art of Keeping Cool (Atheneum, 2000).
Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars This Book Made Me Uncomfortable April 26 2003
Format:Paperback
This book made me uncomfortable. I bought the book for my fifth grade classroom, and put my name on it before I read the book. I wish I hadn't because I can't now return it. I will not put the book in my class library because I don't think it is appropriate for the elementary class. Here's why. In the book, the main character has a crush on his teacher, not uncommon. But he does to some lenghts to secretly find out information about her personal life. The teacher is married and pregnant. She got married after a week long relationship with a departing pilot and has no way now to contact him and in fact does not know if she will ever see or hear from him again. Yes, the kids save her job. And that is great. But at the end, 5 years later, the boy is still dreaming of the teacher and the comfort she can provide. While not overtly [explicit], the running theme of the boys obsession makes me very nervous. Maybe 10 years ago I would have been charmed, but now, with school shootings not uncommon and where we read several times a year about student/teacher affairs, I am uncomfortable. I'll discuss almost any question my kids want to talk about, not this. Also, the tragedy of the young woman's life - young, pregnant, not knowing if or when she will reconnect with her husband - so poorly chosen - hits too close to home for the kids I teach. So, although I like Avi's writing, this is one book that won't go on my classrom shelf.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Howie Crispers; Good Person Jan. 30 2003
Format:Hardcover
Howard "Howie" Crispers is a sixteen year-old boy from Brooklyn. He tells the story of what happened to him over the course of a week in March of 1943. This is the year Howie was in the fifth grade. He sneaks into the superintendent's home only to hear that his teacher Miss Gossim is going to be fired. Howie is suspicious of the reason behind the decision of the principal of the school(Dr. Lomister) and the superintendent. Howie doesn't haave time to hear why she is being fired because he is already late for school. The only thing he can think of is that Lomister wants Miss Gossim to marry him and she won't. Howie learns better of this though, when he goes to Miss Gossim's house. He goes to he house during an air raid drill and talk to her about what is happening about her being fired. She explains that she is pregnant and that teachers cannot teach and be pregnant. When Howie is about to leave Miss Gossim asks him not to tell anyone about her. Howie agrees but he still wants to help her. He is later reading in a book about petitions and he thinks it would be a good idea to start a petition against Miss Gossim leaving. The next day at school Howie and his best friend Denny get almost everyone in their class to sign but they get caught by Miss Gossim. She is very dissappointed in Howie and she tells him how upset she is with him that he revealed her secrets even though he was trying to help. When Howie goes home he tells his little sister what happened and she says he should bring the petition to the superintendent's home after the Saturday kids movie. He takes his little sister's advice and gets some of his classmated to go to her house after the movie. When they go to her house she says that she will see what she can do about Miss Gossim staying. Read more ›
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3.0 out of 5 stars Howie Crispers; Good Person Jan. 30 2003
Format:Hardcover
Howard "Howie" Crispers is a sixteen year-old boy from Brooklyn. He tells the story of what happened to him over the course of a week in March of 1943. This is the year Howie was in the fifth grade. He sneaks into the superintendent's home only to hear that his teacher Miss Gossim is going to be fired. Howie is suspicious of the reason behind the decision of the principal of the school(Dr. Lomister) and the superintendent. Howie doesn't haave time to hear why she is being fired because he is already late for school. The only thing he can think of is that Lomister wants Miss Gossim to marry him and she won't. Howie learns better of this though, when he goes to Miss Gossim's house. He goes to he house during an air raid drill and talk to her about what is happening about her being fired. She explains that she is pregnant and that teachers cannot teach and be pregnant. When Howie is about to leave Miss Gossim asks him not to tell anyone about her. Howie agrees but he still wants to help her. He is later reading in a book about petitions and he thinks it would be a good idea to start a petition against Miss Gossim leaving. The next day at school Howie and his best friend Denny get almost everyone in their class to sign but they get caught by Miss Gossim. She is very dissappointed in Howie and she tells him how upset she is with him that he revealed her secrets even though he was trying to help. When Howie goes home he tells his little sister what happened and she says he should bring the petition to the superintendent's home after the Saturday kids movie. He takes his little sister's advice and gets some of his classmated to go to her house after the movie. When they go to her house she says that she will see what she can do about Miss Gossim staying. Read more ›
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2.0 out of 5 stars Don't you know there's a war on? March 30 2002
By meliraD
Format:Hardcover
Avi's novel takes place in Brooklyn, New York during WWII. Sixteen year old Howie Crispers tells of his adventures as a fifth grader during one significant week of March 1943 .His father is a merchant marine fighting Nazis on the North Atlantic sea. Each day Howie, his sister, and his mother wait anxiously to hear from his dad. Howie has more things to worry about when he finds out his favorite teacher is being fired. He and his best friend Denny must find a way to save their teacher's job. Avi's story was too easily solved and had no suspense, though the story was set in an exceptional time, it wasn't satisfactory reading. Some readers may like this book, but I don't recommend it to all.
About the aurthor: Avi was born in 1937 in New York City. When Avi's first child was born he began his career in writing. His first book was published in 1970, since then he has published over 30 books. Avi has many award winning books such as: Nothing but the Truth, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and many other books.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars boy in a war
this book is about a boy that is going to school and he has got a nice teacher and they think that she is going to get fired and they decide to do some investigating. Read more
Published on May 10 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars boy and a war
this book is about a boy and a friend that are living in a town and they have a teacher that is really good and they think that she is going to get fired so they investigate. Read more
Published on May 6 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars boy and a war
this book is about a boy and a friend that are living in a town and they have a teacher that is really good and they think that she is going to get fired so they investigate. Read more
Published on May 6 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting
This book is so fun to read. It realy brings you closer to the story an helps you feel what others went through during those tough times
Published on Feb. 22 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't You Know There's a War On?
For my book report I read the book "Don't You Know There's a War On?", by A.V.I. This novel was about two boys, Howie and Denny, and their lovely teacher Miss Rolanda. Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars I Frankie dont like this book
Don't You Know There's a War On? is about a boy who lives in Brookyn during World War II.The boy's name is Howie Crispers and his best friend is Denny. Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars The War of Adventures
I loved the book Don't You Know There's a War On by Avi. Everything is going mad in Howie Crispers life. Howie lives in a place where everybody thinks Nazi spys are everywhere. Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge a book by it's cover!
I loved this book. The cover makes you not want to read it but inside there is a whole different story. In the time of World War 1 there are things like blackouts and dogtags. Read more
Published on June 3 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A glimpse into a boy's life
Howie Crisper has a few things on his mind. He needs to pass his weekly math test, he worries about his dad away in World War II, and the principal of his school in Brooklyn may... Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2002 by Mary G. Longorio
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