Ann Stalcup was only four years old when England declared war on Germany in 1939. Although her town of Lydney was located in the relative safety of the English countryside, World War ll still brought fear, uncertainty, and deprivation to the local people.
Even before the war began, children carried gas masks to school, mothers hastily stitched up "blackout" curtains to hide the house lights from German planes, and fathers headed out to air raid warden duties nightly. Then thousands of children were evacuated from the cities to the country for their safety. Soon all resources were going to the war. On the home front, food was rationed, "victory gardens" were dug, and clothes and shoes were patched again and again.
Ann's story is filled, too, with the experiences all English people shared as a nation: the inspiring words of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the daring rescue of troops from Dunkirk made by ordinary citizens in "little ships"; German and Italian POW's; the coming of the "Yanks"; and finally, victory. This was not life in the ranks fighting the battles, but it was life on the home front - the every day life of a people at war.
PRAISE FOR ON THE HOME FRONT, GROWING UP IN WARTIME ENGLAND
School Library Journal "...this mesmerizing, beautifully written book ...told from a child's point of view...vividly brings to life wartime England."
Kirkus Reviews -- "A touching memoir...Stalcup wonderfully recreated the voice of a young child to recount the everyday incidents of a small family bravely coping with war...This child's view of WWll is certain to touch the hearts of readers."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books -- "...an effective read-aloud...[Ann's] sense of the pleasures as well as the fears...make the picture compellingly complete."
Children's Book Council "Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies", 1999
National Council of Teachers of English "Outstanding Nonfiction Choice", 1999
California Readers Committee "Top 100 Books, Middle School California Collection", 2000