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LETTERS TO A SOLDIER

Author: David Falvey and Julie Hutt

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Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Childrens, 2009

Material: hard cover

Summary: Mrs. Hutt's fourth-grade class decides to write a soldier who is fighting in the war. This is a collection of the actual letters from the students on one side and the answer from First Lieutenant David Falvey. There are pictures to go along with some of the explanations. Because the students wrote the letters, this is an excellent book for kids to read themselves.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 10 and Up

Interest Level: 5 to 10

Reading Level: 5

Age of Child: Read with and by a 5-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: I picked this book for my daughter because she has asked about the war. She enjoyed reading the letters the children sent and also liked how the soldier explained what was going on by answering the questions they had put in their letters to him. I am glad she enjoyed reading it and was glad she wanted to read it a second time.

Adult Reader Reaction: I liked this book a lot. I liked it a lot. It was a great way to talk about the war without it being over a child's head. Through LT Falvey, we can see what they are doing over there and have it explained so simply. The photographs were great and having the children�s letters there to read along with the answers from the soldier worked well.

Pros: This easy-to-read picture book helps children understand what happens in war and the day-to-day life of fighting overseas.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a good book to have at the library, share with a class, or pull off the shelf when children start asking about war.

If You Liked This Book, Try: FLUFFY'S STORY PART 1: FLUFFY'S JOURNEY   ALL TOGETHER AGAIN: MESSAGES TO MY DAD   I WILL ALWAYS WRITE BACK, How One Letter Changed Two Lives

Educational Themes: Through this exchange of letters, children can learn about life in the military, the various jobs that must be done, and their purpose for being overseas. It is also a good primer on letter writing, as it is filled with examples.

Notes: A Reading Tub volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from the local library.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, War

Date(s) Reviewed: November 2009

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