That pretty much sums up The Night the Bells Rang, by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock. It’s a lovely little story about a Vermont family during America’s involvement in World War I, and while its simplicity doesn’t allow for boundless detail, it nevertheless managed to draw tears from me at the end. I struggled slightly with Mason’s treatment of his brother for much of the book, but it was probably realistic, and I was ok with the way it was ultimately handled. The entire book, of course, made me homesick for New England, but what can I say? When I read about old time New England farm life, I have an incredible yearning to experience the beauty and simplicity of it…until I remember how much I like being clean, how much I hate the smell of manure, and how much I prefer to have time for myself after the necessary chores are done. (All the same, I never tire of reading about it.)
Again, this one’s really short–76 pages, including many full-page illustrations–but I found it worth my while. Give it a try!