Louisa June and the Nazis in the waves

Laura Elliott, 1957-

Book - 2022

In 1941, after Hitler declares war on the United States, unleashing U-boat submarines to attack American ships, Louisa June, with the waves outside her house carrying dangerous enemies, must help her mother after her father and brother are caught in the crossfire.

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jFICTION/Elliott, Laura
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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room New Shelf jFICTION/Elliott, Laura (NEW SHELF) Due Jul 10, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Novels
War fiction
Historical fiction
Published
New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2022]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
284 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780063056565
0063056569
Main Author
Laura Elliott, 1957- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* As the U.S. is drawn into WWII, life on the East Coast changes drastically for Louisa June and her family. Her older brothers and sister enlist in various forms of service to support the war efforts, and Louisa June puzzles about how she can help. Then her favorite brother—gentle, poetic Butler—goes out with their father on a boat that gets torpedoed, the blast killing Butler and seriously injuring Dad. This sends her fragile mother into a deep depression, while the reality of U-boats trolling the nearby waters galvanizes locals to protect their homes and country. Louisa June and her friend Emmett persist in their efforts to find a way to help as she also manages home life, stepping up while her parents are incapacitated in their own ways. Elliott weaves a deeply moving historical tale, including small but significant details that flesh out the situations and characters, even the secondary ones. Louisa June and Emmett—along with her elderly, adventurous cousin, Belle—carry the story with their spunk and individualism. Additionally, the extensive and fact-filled backstory shared in the author's note gives readers even more context for understanding the times on the home front during WWII and includes black-and-white photos. An excellent middle-grade read that balances adventure, emotions, and family. Grades 4-7. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

An infrequently explored aspect of WWII history—German submarines torpedoing U.S. cargo ships along America's East Coast—underpins Elliott's (Walls) well-crafted novel narrated by 13-year-old Louisa June, youngest of five in a loving, cued-white family in coastal Tidewater Virginia. The story begins in March 1942, soon after America's entry into WWII, as the Chesapeake Bay and waters off Tidewater become the submarines' "favorite hunting grounds" (though local civilians are unaware). Louisa's three oldest siblings depart to help the war effort, leaving her to monitor Mama's "melancholy," a frequently contained depression. When Louisa's beloved college-bound brother is killed by a German submarine's fire on the family's tugboat, and her father is injured, then overtaken by guilt and grief, her mother falls into a deep depression, laced with anger and blame. Louisa, also bereft, struggles to keep the household afloat and care for them. Welcome help comes from elderly, worldly, and spirited cousin Belle, who offers no-nonsense emotional support, plus food, books, and kittens. Louisa's growing understanding of the devastation that the German submarines are causing propels her to find a way to join the war effort. Evocative descriptions of the region's natural life—"egrets and blue herons wading through the feathery inlets"—ground this realistic depiction of one family's efforts to withstand depression and personal tragedy during wartime. Ages 8–12. (Mar.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

An infrequently explored aspect of WWII history—German submarines torpedoing U.S. cargo ships along America's East Coast—underpins Elliott's (Walls) well-crafted novel narrated by 13-year-old Louisa June, youngest of five in a loving, cued-white family in coastal Tidewater Virginia. The story begins in March 1942, soon after America's entry into WWII, as the Chesapeake Bay and waters off Tidewater become the submarines' "favorite hunting grounds" (though local civilians are unaware). Louisa's three oldest siblings depart to help the war effort, leaving her to monitor Mama's "melancholy," a frequently contained depression. When Louisa's beloved college-bound brother is killed by a German submarine's fire on the family's tugboat, and her father is injured, then overtaken by guilt and grief, her mother falls into a deep depression, laced with anger and blame. Louisa, also bereft, struggles to keep the household afloat and care for them. Welcome help comes from elderly, worldly, and spirited cousin Belle, who offers no-nonsense emotional support, plus food, books, and kittens. Louisa's growing understanding of the devastation that the German submarines are causing propels her to find a way to join the war effort. Evocative descriptions of the region's natural life—"egrets and blue herons wading through the feathery inlets"—ground this realistic depiction of one family's efforts to withstand depression and personal tragedy during wartime. Ages 8–12. (Mar.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–6—Middle grade lovers of World War II historical fiction will find this title engrossing. Thirteen-year-old Louisa June lives along the coast of Virginia at the start of American involvement in World War II, as Hitler begins sending U-boats to attack U.S. ships. Her father and brothers work on boats, and will soon be signing up to help with the war effort. Louisa June's family is directly affected by a torpedo, sent into a tailspin after her father's tugboat is sunk by the Nazis. Her parents deal with their grief, while she figures out her place in the war and how a teenage girl can be of any help like her older siblings. Cousin Belle proves to be a bellwether figure to the family and an advocate for Louisa June while her mother suffers from depression and debilitating anxiety. Many readers will be surprised to learn about German U-boats torpedoing the East Coast of the United States after Pearl Harbor. Elliot's story delivers facts and a thoughtful approach to characters experiencing grief and depression, while adding some maritime adventure in a segment where the family comes together to rescue a British sailor. The conclusion happens swiftly, possibly leaving readers disappointed in not knowing what happens next to Louisa June and her loved ones after the daring rescue. Elliot provides a thorough author's note to dispel any doubts about the authenticity of the events written about in the course of the novel. Main characters are cued as white. VERDICT A must-have for all middle grade historical fiction collections. Recommend to those who enjoyed Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's The War That Saved My Life and Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch's Making Bombs for Hitler.—Kim Gardner Copyright 2022 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In 1941, after Hitler declares war on the United States, unleashing U-boat submarines to attack American ships, Louisa June, with the waves outside her house carrying dangerous enemies, must help her mother after her father and brother are caught in the crossfire.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In 1941, after Hitler declares war on the US, unleashing U-boat submarines to attack American ships, Louisa June, with the waves outside her house carrying dangerous enemies, must help her mother after her father and brother are caught in the crossfire. 30,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In this moving and timeless story, award-winning author L. M. Elliott captures life on the U.S. homefront during World War II, weaving a rich portrait of a family reeling from loss and the chilling yet hopeful voyage of fighting for what matters, perfect for fans of The War That Saved My Life. Days after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Hitler declared war on the U.S., unleashing U-boat submarines to attack American ships. Suddenly, the waves outside Louisa June’s farm aren’t for eel-fishing or marveling at wild swans or learning to skull her family’s boat—they’re dangerous, swarming with hidden enemies.Her oldest brothers’ ships risk coming face-to-face with U-boats. Her sister leaves home to weld Liberty Boat hulls. And then her daddy, a tugboat captain, and her dearest brother, Butler, are caught in the crossfire. Her mama has always swum in a sea of melancholy, but now she really needs Louisa June to find moments of beauty or inspiration to buoy her. Like sunshine-yellow daffodils, good books, or news accounts of daring rescues of torpedoed passengers.Determined to help her Mama and aching to combat Nazis herself, Louisa June turns to her quirky friend Emmett and the indomitable Cousin Belle, who has her own war stories—and a herd of cats—to share. In the end, after a perilous sail, Louisa June learns the greatest lifeline is love.