John Bloom and the Victory Garden by Leigh Shearin

Book Description

October 27, 2014 9 – 18 3 – 9

John Bloom and the Victory Garden is the rollicking tale of 3 boys at the dawn of America’s involvement in WWII. John Bloom, and his best friends Joe and Chewie live, play, and get into adventures in 1940’s era Appleside, NJ. Because children are generally joyful and tend to put more importance on the goings-on of their own worlds than those of grown-ups, the events of the war are woven into the boy’s daily lives. Along the way, a bitter and cynical old man is drawn into their hijinks, and contributes his own joy to the lives of these 3.Chapter One invites the reader to join John and his friends in Appleside, NJ on the afternoon of December 6th, 1941. Through newspaper headlines and radio bulletins, the boys learn about the incredible events of the war- beginning with the attack on Hawaii by the Empire of Japan. As the story moves along, John and his friends learn that everyone- not just soldiers- can make a difference. They learn that commitment leads to ultimate success and that taking a seemingly insurmountable task one step at a time will make that task simple. John, Joe and Chewie learn about where their food comes from, and how important good food is to the Allies overseas.

John Bloom and the Victory Garden is not just a story of Homefront USA during WWII. Its about faith, endurance and sturdy values that transcend time and cultural differences. It’s about accepting tough times, struggle and adversity and overcoming them anyway. It’s about seeing the humor in life, and helping others to see the humor too.

But mostly, they just have a gut-busting great time!

Product Details

  • File Size: 3385 KB
  • Print Length: 195 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00OKMZ8G0
14 Reviews – ave3-5 stars
My Review: (4.5/5 Stars) Title: John Bloom and the Garden of Victory | Author: Leigh Shearin | Publication Date: October 27, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 195 | Recommended Grades: 3-8
Author Leigh Shearin’s “John Bloom and the Victory Garden,” the first of her “John Bloom Series,” is a sure-fire win for readers in grades 3-8, history buffs, and foodies.
  The story centers around three boys (John, Joe, and Chewie), all age ten, who are friends and live in the same small farming town community of Appleside, New Jersey.
This is during the time of WWII as Pearl Harbor Day, Dec 7th 1941, is brought up almost immediately as the news hits the town and how it effects the town and people.   One of the things I learned was of the Executive Order 9066; which was a United States presidential executive order signed and issued during World War II by the United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942.  The story stated it affected Japanese, Germans, & Italians and the children were scared as one of them was Italian. In reality, Japanese were the target but less Germans and even less Italians were taken and interned.
  The 3 boys started a club, nicknamed the ABC club (American Boys Club) to help with the War in their own way. They weren’t sure what to do but they were boys and loved to have fun anyway. They did pranks and eat food and decided to try their first project for a neighbor, 98 year old Mr. Hutchins who has been ill and unable to help himself and chop firewood. However, Mr. Hutchins wasn’t too friendly and the boys decided to do a prank instead! Needless to say, when John went to check on him and the prank the next day, he found Mr. Hutchins on the floor unable to move. He felt really bad then. He went and got help right away.
The book goes on and shows how these boys actually bonded more and John started to bring food daily for Mr. Hutchins as he was unable to move and cook for himself. Later in the story, John learned about past wars and victory gardens, where people grew food to help each other and the army  by growing vegies. Mr. Hutchins had a big garden area and the boys decided to help get the garden going again when it was springtime as everyone could do this and be productive. Then an accident occurred and one of the boys got hurt. Mr. Hutchins by then was mobile–what do you know–he was there at his bedside to encourage him and talk about teaching him how to farm and grow that victory garden. A true friendship had been born!
I loved the story and felt not just kids but adults can enjoy and learn from it.
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