Eddie's War

Eddie’s War

Carol Saller

World War II. Hitler is threatening to take over the world. Eddie Carl thinks America should stop him—it’s just plain right. But Eddie’s just a kid, and the farm in Ellisville, Illinois, is a long way from the fighting.

Ellisville: where the big news stories are gophers in the graveyard and the new bank alarm. But then America joins the war and Eddie’s brother Thomas goes off to fly a bomber. Suddenly the war doesn’t seem so far away. And Eddie faces more grown-up problems at home: A fire at the Strothers’ place, and his gypsy friend accused of arson. Grampa Rob, all stubborn and mean. Grama Lucy with her secrets. And that redhead Sarah, who definitely likes him—unless maybe she hates him. Somehow Eddie’s in the middle of it all, trying to figure out what’s right. Let Thomas fight World War II. Eddie’s war is right here in Ellisville.

Eddie’s War is a lyrical collection of prose vignettes linking Eddie, his family, and a small-town cast of Ellisvillians. Poignant and funny, this World War II story tells how a distant war affects the life of one boy in the Heartland.


  • Ages: 10–14
  • Grades: 5-9
  • Pages: 144

Eddies War - DOWNLOADS

Recent Reviews

7A poignant look at boyhood before and during the long years of World War II.... Much more an emotionally resonant coming-of-age tale than a war story, this will be an easy sell for those seeking a quick, excellent read.

—Kirkus Reviews

Free verse vignettes will appeal to reluctant readers. Compare to Robert Cormier’s Frenchtown Summer or Rick Beck’s Necking With Louise. Very highly recommended.

—Children’s Literature

Beautifully phrased and vividly revealing of character . . . an authentic window into the past that recalls the narrative power of Karen Hesse’s verse and the moral debate in Mary Downing Hahn’s Stepping on the Cracks.

—The Horn Book Magazine

Saller’s poems build from finely delineated episodes of no immediately apparent weight into a cumulative portrait of a tightly interlocked community, where routine, patriotism, and neighborly support cannot always confine darker attitudes and deeds to the shadows. The contemplative tone of the entries and the misplaced accusations against an innocent man are reminiscent of Betsy Byars’ Keeper of the Doves (BCCB 1/03); readers who step into Eddie’s shoes will appreciate that coming of age often involves seeing your family and friends for exactly what they are.

—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

First-person, free-verse vignettes from 1934 to 1944 recount episodes in Eddie’s boyhood with his peers and family as he faces the harsh reality of war brought home. The narrative’s steady progression focuses on a boy’s maturation into his teen years as he increasingly faces the adult world’s situations and issues... Eddie’s reflections, particularly toward the end of the book, connect the larger peaceful aspirations of a postwar world with the simple individual dreams of a teen who only wishes to go to school and be happy with his girlfriend.

—School Library Journal

Eddie’s War is a not to be missed story that is a poignant coming of age look into the world of one young boy during the war….And in the middle of all that is a young boy, trying to understand right from wrong, and understanding the courage it sometimes takes to do the right thing. 

—The Children’s War

Honors for Eddie’s War

  • Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Books of 2011
  • Best of the Best 2012: Fiction for Teens — Chicago Public Library
  • Bank Street College The Best Books of the Year, 2012 edition *Outstanding merit