Amazing Story Of Adolphus Tips Cassette
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7–Morpurgo frames this story with a grandmother sharing her girlhood journal with her grandson and a letter explaining what she has recently done. In the main story, Lily is 12 in 1943 and lives in southern coastal England. The war brings a foreign teacher, American soldiers, evacuees from London, and the sound of warplanes to their rural area. The girl's family is forced to move from their farm to an uncle's so the army can use their land to practice sea landings. A boy evacuee moves in with them. Lily's rocks during this unsettled time are her cat, Tips, and the friendship she strikes up with a black American soldier, Adolphus, better known as Adie. Decades later, Lily sees Adie and his son on the beach. Their friendship is rekindled and, after her husband's death, she visits him in Atlanta, GA. As the story ends in the present, she tells her grandchild that she and Adie have just married and that she is bringing him home to London with her. This is an appealing story, but it has a nostalgic quality that may limit its interest to children.–Jane G. Connor, South Carolina State Library, Columbia
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 4-7. Following a grandson's memories of riding on a motorbike with his beloved grandmother, Lily, this story goes back in time to Lily's journal entries, made during World War II in Britain, which show her as a fiercely independent person even then--as angry at her family as she is at the enemy. Lily, 12, feels guilty about quarreling with Dad before he left to fight (what if he gets killed?), but her most immediate concern is finding her beloved cat, Tips, which goes missing after the family is forced to evacuate its coastal farm to make room for the army to rehearse the invasion of Normandy. She is helped by a kind, black GI, Adolphus ("Adie"), with whom she develops a bond. The personal story of anger and love is as gripping as the war drama, and Morpurgo includes a fascinating note about the invasion rehearsal and why its history is seldom told. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Lily, the main character, misses her father, who has gone off to fight. She's also worried about her cat, Tips, who can't be found in time to take her along when the family is evacuated from their home in order to allow for military exercises, as Allied forces prepare for the D-Day landing.
Storylines involving Lily's family taking in a displaced boy from London and befriending two African-American soldiers are handled with subtlety and grace.
Unfortunately, the novel is framed by a modern-day narrative involving Lily's grandson, Michael. The framing piece is clumsy and unnecessary, and seems as though it was added in order to allow the author to tie up some loose ends without significantly lengthening the story. Sadly, it doesn't really work. I'd have much preferred to read more about Lily in the 1940s and less about her in the present.
Try a different Lily, in _Lily's Crossing_, by Patricia Reilly Giff, for a much more sophisticated World War II story of a young girl on the home front who makes an unexpected friendship.
The journal begins on September 10, 1943 when Lily is 12 years old. She lives on a farm in England with her mother, father, grandfather and beloved cat, Tips. The war is tearing the world apart, yet it hasn't affected Lily personally until her father joins the British Military and ships off to who knows where. Then Lily's lack of involvement quickly changes.
A temporary refugee in her school comes to live on the farm with Lily, and she finds that she kind of likes having a little brother. And then Lily meets some soldiers from America and becomes friends with a fellow named Adie. But all too soon the tragedies of war become clear when her teacher's husband is killed in action. And then the war really hits home when Lily's town is forced to evacuate so that the soldiers can practice sea-side landings on the beach. When the day arrives for Lily's family to move down the road to her uncle's farm, Tips disappears!
Lily is devastated. She can't leave behind her best friend, but she must. She swears though that nothing will stop her from looking for her cat --- not even the danger signs, the barbed wire fencing, the soldiers' dogs, or the exploding bombs. She will find Tips no matter what.
THE AMAZING STORY OF ADOLPHUS TIPS is indeed amazing. Mostly written in journal formation, readers get a firsthand and very personal look at World War II from a 12-year-old's point of view. Lily's tears and fears and joys are expertly deployed by the author, Michael Morpurgo. He also adds a bit of humor and adventure, making this story a joy to both genders and any age group.
--- Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman, author of FINDING MY LIGHT and THE BLACK POND.
Long before Lily is ready, the area is out of bounds as Allied forces practice their landings for D-day, preparing to invade France. But Tips, Lily's adored cat has disappeared. And nothing--barbed-wire fences, nor the danger of guns or bombs, are going to deter Lily. Frantic to find Tips, Lily makes friends with two American soldiers who offer to help...but will Lily ever see her beloved cat again?
Many years later after WWI ended, Michael is reading his grandmother Lily's diary and he learns about the war and about Lily's cat disappearing. He wonders how one cat could still affect their lives sixty years later.
Even though The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips is written for children ages 7-10, I thoroughly enjoyed it and had a hard time keeping my teenagers away from the book long enough for me to finish it. The story is set during WWII and is so realistic I wonder if it might be based on a true story. I couldn't help but relate with Lily as she is desperate to find her beloved pet and as she tries to adjust to the forced changes that the war is making on her family.
I highly recommend The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, and my only complaint is that it's too short. I would have liked to have read more. Michael Morpurgo is a talented author, able to bring the setting and the characters to life.
Armchair Interviews says: Parents won't go wrong if they pick up this book for their tweeners. It is chocked full of history and fun to read at the same time.