About the Book
Title: John Bloom and the Garden of Victory | Author: Leigh Shearin | Publication Date: October 27, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 195 | Recommended Ages: 9+
Book Summary: John Bloom and the Victory Garden is the rollicking tale of 3 boys at the dawn of America’s involvement in WWII. John Bloom, and his best friends Joe and Chewie live, play, and get into adventures in 1940’s era Appleside, NJ. Because children are generally joyful and tend to put more importance on the goings-on of their own worlds than those of grown-ups, the events of the war are woven into the boy’s daily lives. Along the way, a bitter and cynical old man is drawn into their hijinks, and contributes his own joy to the lives of these 3.
Chapter One invites the reader to join John and his friends in Appleside, NJ on the afternoon of December 6th, 1941. Through newspaper headlines and radio bulletins, the boys learn about the incredible events of the war- beginning with the attack on Hawaii by the Empire of Japan. As the story moves along, John and his friends learn that everyone- not just soldiers- can make a difference. They learn that commitment leads to ultimate success and that taking a seemingly insurmountable task one step at a time will make that task simple. John, Joe and Chewie learn about where their food comes from, and how important good food is to the Allies overseas.
John Bloom and the Victory Garden is not just a story of Homefront USA during WWII. Its about faith, endurance and sturdy values that transcend time and cultural differences. It’s about accepting tough times, struggle and adversity and overcoming them anyway. It’s about seeing the humor in life, and helping others to see the humor too.
But mostly, they just have a gut-busting great time!
Excerpts and Links to Reviews of “John Bloom and the Victory Garden”
John Bloom and the Victory Garden received 14 new reviews on Amazon, 13 new reviews on Goodreads, and 12 bloggers posted reviews on their websites through this Book Review Blitz.
Cat Michaels: “John Bloom and the Victory Garden – Part 1 is a trifecta of history, food, and boyhood. I highly recommend this story for children (especially boys) in grades 3-8. They’ll hunger for Part II of this series, “Digging In,” and be impatient for its debut in Fall 2015.”
Barbara Ann Mojica’s Blog: “Middle grade students will empathize with these boys and the difficulties they encounter in adjusting to frightening circumstances. Recommended for children ages nine and older. This is a well-written book with developed characters and plot and is a compelling read for adults as well.”
Amy Bowens (Amazon): “This story is a very good read for a child. To me this is a learning experience for them to be able to read how kids their age at that time period faced a very difficult time and the hardships they had to deal with.”
The Children’s War: “This is a book that any middle grade reader will enjoy, whether or not they are history buffs, mainly because the themes of friendship, loyalty and helpfulness are timeless.”
Books, Babies and Bows: “The dialogue reflects that of a child living in the 1940’s era, and it will be entertaining to a child of today’s culture to envision the simplistic nature of kids lives back then. I look forward to reading part two of this book and hearing all about growing the victory garden.”
The Book Lovers’ Lounge: “The book is like a time capsule of sorts and gives us a glimpse of life back in the 1940s. As I read through the book, my mind forms wonderful images of friendship, family and food shared during those times.”
Kay LaLone ~ I Love Books!: “Humor, friendship, and faith is woven into the story making it an entertaining way to learn history. Great for boys ages 9 – 14.”
100 Pages a Day: “The best aspect of this book was the descriptions of the homes, school, neighborhood, toys and especially food that contributed to feeling transported to 1941. I was surprised at how well the serious issues of the War were presented in a clear way for middle grade children to understand the impact of the news of the war reaching the USA, rationing food and goods and even internment camps.”
Bound 4 Escape: “John Bloom and the Victory Garden isn’t action packed but it is a good story and presents history in a way that children will enjoy reading about it. It also brings up issues such as men enlisting to fight in the war, some things people at home did to support the soldiers and the war, and how Jews, Germans, and Italians were put into camps for national security.”
Beauty Brite: “I found John Bloom and the Victory Garden to be a very enjoyable read. My 11-yr-old daughter enjoyed it very much, as well. It offered an opening to engage in an enjoyable activity together and to talk about history. She is a very good student and spent some time looking up information about the historical events discussed in the book.”
Read a Book ~ Take a Bite: “…it was a feel good story about three young friends and their way of contributing to the wartime effort in their own special way, all the while staying true to themselves and being just simply…boys.”
SOS-Supply: “A wonderfully humorous book that teaches values through its strong historical links. A must for any teacher looking for a good book on which to base and support their delivery of WWII history.”
BeachBoundBooks: “Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres to read and John Bloom and the Victory Garden is an absolute gem. Set during World War II and filled with a myriad of genuine and unique characters the author effectively draws readers into the world she creates.”
Lisa F. (Goodreads): “Author Leigh Shearin’s “John Bloom and the Victory Garden,” the first of her “John Bloom Series,” is a sure-fire win for readers in grades 3-8, history buffs, and foodies.”
About the Author: Leigh Shearin
I earned a B.A. in Studio Art from Maryville College in Maryville, TN, and worked as a Graphic Artist and Photographer before earning my A.A.S in Culinary Art. I’ve worked as a Chef, Baker and Culinary Art Instructor. Most recently, my husband and I have bought rural land and are developing our own small, sustainable farm, Winter’Rest Farm in north Central New York. Through it all, I’ve written stories and poems, some published, some tucked away. The older I get, the more the stories stalk me, so I hope to move into full-time writing in the very near future.