Review: Bertie’s War (Kregel Publications)

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Kregel Publications offers a variety of publications, including academic homeschool materials, pastor and church resources, and fiction for kids and adults alike.  They are the publishers of the Circle C Adventures series, one of my first ever reviews.

I recently received one of Kregel’s newest publications, Bertie’s War by author Barbara Tifft Blakey, whom you may recognize as the author of the Total Language Plus series.

From the back cover:

No matter how hard she tries to do and say the right thing, Bertie keeps tumbling into embarrassing – and sometimes dangerous situations.  Her stern father has too many rules, her know-it-all sister won’t stop teasing her, and her mischievous younger brother keeps getting into trouble.  But what makes her really afraid are those Communist missiles pointed right at the United States.  As Bertie starts seventh grade in the fall of 1962, news of these missiles throws the nation into a panic and Bertie suddenly feels completely out of control.  Can Bertie confront an ugly truth about herself and face her fears – once and for all?

I was intrigued by the book when I read the synopsis.  The Cuban Missile Crisis of more modern history is not an easy subject about which to find historical fiction.  However, I have to simply be blunt — I did not enjoy this book.  I could not connect with the heroine, Bertie, who was afraid of everything and had no backbone at all.  She couldn’t stand up for her brother, even when she strongly felt she’d wronged him and she could barely even look at her father, whose behavior seemed to verge on mental abuse, though we do get to see snippets that show that he does, indeed, love his family.

I kept waiting for the story to grab me, but it never did.  Even the ending seemed rather anti-climatic after building up to Bertie’s self-revelation the entire book.  Be sure to read other crew members’ reviews.  Perhaps someone saw Bertie’s War in a more positive light than I did.  It does bring to light some aspects of living through the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis that I would not have considered, including the need to build bomb shelters, how people planned to deal with radiation…and the fact that not everyone had color TV.

Bertie’s War is available from Kregel Publications for $7.99.

I received this product free for the purpose of reviewing it.  I received no other compensation for this review.  The opinions expressed in this review are my personal, honest opinions.  Your experience may vary.

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Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.

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  1. It seems like I am seeing this book everywhere lately. I must admit, it was beginning to pique my interest. Thank you for the honest review, very refreshing.:)

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