Excellent, Intermediate, Gayle Rosengren, Cuban Missile Crisis, Chicago, 1960s, Cold War

Document Type

Book Review


Among the everyday struggles of an eleven-year-old, the TV announcement of President John F. Kennedy interrupts: Russia is threatening nuclear war. As the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolds and panic spreads rapidly through Joanna’s community, Joanna also faces conflicts closer to home: resenting her older brother for leaving her to enlist in the navy, feeling lonely as her single mother works all day, hoping for the attention of a cute boy, avoiding her scary elderly neighbor, and discovering her friend’s family problems. By the end of the week, the whole country breathes a sigh of relief as peaceful negotiations between leaders call off the war, and Joanna has chosen to forgive, to trust, and to empathize with others.