Bertie’s War by Barbara Tifft Blakey takes you back in time to the early 1960’s when America was facing the Cuban Missile Crisis.
It was a stressful time for everyone, but especially for our protagonist, Bertie, the youngest of three children. Her father is strict and Bertie tries very hard to please him, but it is the threat of missiles pointed at the United States that is hard for Bertie to understand.
When her father builds a bomb shelter for her grandparents, she is baffled. Why isn’t her father protecting his wife and children too?
Barbara takes us inside Bertie’s heart to feel her struggles and fears. We see the world through her eyes. We meet the people she loves and those she struggles to relate to. Children and young adults reading the book will relate to Bertie and her inner thoughts.
I find it a great addition to American history or government class as an historical fiction book set during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
There is nothing that works better at bringing a time period alive for your students than reading a story set in that time period.
Barbara Blakey is an author and creator of Total Language Plus®, a literature-based language arts program. Hopefully, we will hear more from her in the future.
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)