Resource Links Review of The Comic Book War

Reviewed by: Michael Rogowski

Guest's novel paints an incredible picture of life in Calgary during those last few years of The Second World War. We see Robert Tourond struggle to buy comics, which he believes are telling him secret messages about his three brothers fighting in different fronts. We get a taste of what life was like with his neighbour Mr. G, and Robert's parents' war efforts.
We see the "war at home" with "Crazy Charlie" and how children have to deal with real life issues. We also see that through the hardship, there can be fun and laughs. The plot was slow at first, but this was only to set the foundation of the characters and how they will develop. The reader does wonder if the first few chapters will pay off, and they do.
Little do we know that we're learning about the Canadian comic book industry and the impact of international trading during the war. Once the plot does get going, it hooks you. I found myself page turning like each one could be the last. This wasn't just from the plot and the twists and turns that this novel presents (as there were a lot). The characters were a delight. From Crazy Charlie to Miss. Pettigrew, each character had their perfect fit in the story. It is rare to have a novel this well-knit and put together. I loved how each one had a different impact on Robert's story. Each one brought a new lesson for him to learn. The character development is a real treat. This novel would be great in a classroom studying the Second World War or what life was like in Canada in the 1940s. I would highly recommend this to any young reader from Grades 6 to 12. It may not be much of a challenge for the older readers, but I think they will still enjoy this book. Older hesitant readers may also enjoy this book. It still has language and challenging words to keep them learning, while having a gripping plot to keep them going. It's hard to give a book nothing but praise, but this book deserves it. Thematic Links: Comic Books; World War II; War; Family; Coming Of Age; Postal Service; 1940s

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