Synopsis from Groundwood Books:
In 1970 Vancouver, thirteen-year-old Charlotte and her best friend, Dawn, are keen to avoid the pitfalls of adolescence. Couldn’t they just skip teenhood altogether, along with its annoying behaviors – showing off just because you have a boyfriend, obsessing about marriage and a ring and matching dining-room furniture? Couldn’t one just learn about life from Jane Austen and spend the days eating breakfast at noon, watching “People in Conflict,” and thrift-store shopping for cool castoffs to tie-dye for the upcoming outdoor hippie music festival?
But life becomes more complicated when the girls meet a Texan draft dodger who comes to live with Charlotte’s Quaker family. Tom Ed expands Charlotte’s horizons as they discuss everything from war to civil disobedience to women’s liberation. Grappling with exhilarating and disturbing new ideas, faced with a censorship challenge to her beloved English teacher and trying to decode the charismatic draft dodger himself, Charlotte finds it harder and harder to stick to her unteen philosophy, and to see eye to eye with Dawn.
About: Dodger Boy is a middle grade historical fiction written by Sarah Ellis. It was recently published on 9/1/2018 by Groundwood Books, an imprint of House of Anansi Press, paperback, 178 pages. The genres are historical, fiction, and children’s. This book is intended for readers from grades 5 to 9. According to the publisher’s website, “Groundwood Books was established in 1978 and is dedicated to the production of children’s books of the highest possible quality for all ages, including fiction, picture books and nonfiction. Our primary focus has been on works by Canadians, though we sometimes also publish outstanding books from other countries. Many of our books tell the stories of people whose voices are not always heard.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Dodger Boy on 9/4/2018 and finished it on 9/8/2018. This book is an excellent read! I like Dawn’s shopping skills. The Unteen Pact is interesting. Charlotte has a cool English teacher, Miss O.O. It’s my first read where a story takes place in Vancouver, Canada. Despite this book being for middle grade, I’m learning something new I don’t know before. I love reading about Tom Ed being a draft dodger for the Vietnam war. I love Charlotte’s family and their hospitality. All of the characters are interesting to read.
This book is told in the third person point of view following Charlotte as she and her friend Dawn, both 13, evaluate Romeo and Juliet’s movie using their Unteen Pact’s formula. They created the Unteen Pact so that they could refuse to become teenagers who behave bizarrely for boys. They attended a hippie party together and met an American draft dodger named Tom Ed. It was during the time when the war was happening in Vietnam and American soldiers were drafted to serve. Tom Ed went through great lengths to avoid being drafted. He might not ever get to go home again.
Dodger Boy is very well written and easy to read. It brought back history to readers about some Americans who escaped to Canada to evade being drafted for war. I don’t remember learning this part of history in high school so I love how informative this book is. I like how the class come together to outsmart the English substitute teacher. I like how good of a big brother James is to Charlotte with the mouse. I’m surprised for the twist on James! That was most unexpected. Charlotte is a great character to read about. I highly recommend everyone to read this book!
Pro: fast paced, page turner, friendship, draft dodger, Americans in Canada, family
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Sarah Ellis is a celebrated author, teacher and children’s literature expert. She has written more than twenty books across the genres, and her books have been translated into French, Spanish, Danish, Chinese and Japanese. She has won the Governor General’s Literary Award (Pick-Up Sticks), the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award (Odd Man Out) and the Sheila Egoff Award. Her first novel, The Baby Project, remains a children’s classic, still in print more than thirty years after publication.
Sarah is a masthead reviewer for the Horn Book Magazine, and she is a former faculty member at Vermont College of Fine Arts. (Photo obtained from Goodreads and info obtained from Groundwood Books’ website).
More Information about Groundwood Books
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Groundwood Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.