Willow RunTitle: Willow Run
Author: Patricia Reilly Giff
ISBN: 0385730675
Pages: 149 pages
Publisher/Date: Wendy Lamb Books, 2005.

“Every single apartment was the same. Gray. Not a curtain on a window….
A kindergarten kid could have drawn it: a long low box that stretched from one end of the paper to the other, no paint, no color. And if you divided the box into tiny sections, each family would have one to live in. Worst of all, there was no grass, nothing growing, only tree stumps near the curb, their tops pale and raw. I remembered what Grandpa had said once, shaking his head in anger. ‘To kill a tree!’
I could see that Mom was as disappointed as I was. I handed the cats to her, one by one, then backed out of the car.” (33)

This is Margaret “Meggie” Dillion’s first impression of her home in Willow Run, Michigan, where her family has moved to from Rockaway, New York. Her dad just got a new job at the airplane factory there, helping the war effort building planes to fight in World War II. Her mom soon gets a job in the factory too. Their new home is so small, they had to leave behind Meggie’s German Grandfather, who Meggie worries about as she spends her lazy summer afternoons meeting the other kids who live at the plant. She also worries about her brother Eddie, fighting overseas. When a telegram arrives telling the family that Eddie is missing in action, Meggie needs to find the strength and courage that she never believed was there. Travel back in time to World War II, and read Willow Run, by Patricia Reilly Giff.

The story was recommended to me by my supervisor, and while I don’t think it was the best story I’ve read, the story has good pacing. There’s a lot to talk about, probably making it good for book discussions, espeically the open ending. It’s also relatable to events right now, with the war overseas. The backflashes that Meggie has get a little annoying in parts, but they definitely add more depth to the character. This is not a book for kids looking for action, as the most action Meggie has is stealing ice creams from the ice cream truck.

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