Aimed at young readers, but with subtle emotions many of them will understand. The unnamed 5 yr old narrator is sent, in 1944, to stay with his grandmother in a road-building camp "Up North" in MN. His father's at war, and his mother's working in a factory. The amusing, and heartbreaking, prolog explains the real reasons he's being sent away. He settles in, but misses his mother, and inadvertently tells his grandmother the real story. She writes "hard" letters to her daughter, and mother and son are reunited, not without pain for grandmother and grandson, who have grown to love each other. A beautiful, nuanced book. I'm the grandmother's generation, and I loved it. This is a book to read aloud to five year olds, and to be read themselves by 10-12 year olds. Could be a class project, with its lessons about WW II, and the values of family and hard work. All is subtly done. I'll want to read everything else of Paulsen's I can get my hands on.
First in the Grandmother trilogies by Gary Paulsen. Very moving.
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