The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 alarmed everyone, and twelve-year-old Joanna was no exception. Fear of being home alone after dark pales beside fear of a nuclear war. Anger at her brother for leaving home to join the navy turns to worry that he might be on one of the ships President Kennedy is sending to surround Cuba. What if he has to battle Russian ships?
COLD WAR ON MAPLEWOOD STREET follows Joanna through a tense week of air raid drills and frightening headlines. If only Mom would talk about things! Best friend Pamela's parents talk about the crisis -- although they don't seem to listen to each other very well, and that can have its own devastating consequences.
not until Joanna speaks up and makes her mother listen that they both find a measure of comfort and hope.
This story provides a realistic look at a significant event in our history while demonstrating the importance of good communication to every relationship -- global or personal.
From the author of WHAT THE MOON SAID
- A Junior Library Guild
- An Illinois Reads Book
- A CCBC Choices title
- Winner of the Tofte-Wright Award for Chidlren's Literature
"Both compelling and relatable; readers may not know the fear of needing a shelter room in the event of nuclear war, but they'll appreciate Joanna's determination to create such a space and admire her all the more because she does it alone. In uncluttered, almost simplistic prose, Rosengren takes complicated issues of abandonment and war and makes them approachable while still packing an emotional wallop. Put this in the hands of history buffs and fans of serious domestic realism in deceptively simple form. AA"
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books*
"An eloquent portrayal of the worries of a child at such a terrifying time. There are not many stories for young adults that take place during this tense time in history and Rosengren's does a lovely job of reflecting the mood at the time.... her story is moving and gives young readers a glimpse into a very unique era when the future of the country was uncertain."
- Victoria Vogel, Voice of Youth Advocates
1. Why does Joanna turn her closet into a bomb shelter? If you were to build a shelter like hers, what would you put in it? List items in order of importance.
2. Why do you think this book is titled COLD WAR ON MAPLEWOOD STREET?
3. Do Joanna's feelings about her brother change over the course of the story? If so, how?
4. How do you think the week would have ended for Joanna and her friend Pamela if there hadn't been a missile crisis?
5. Would you like to have a teacher like Mr. Egan? Why or why not?
6. Do you think you learned anything important from reading this book, and if so, what?
Food pairings from the author:
"Joanna's mom had a tight budget, so their meals weren't very fancy. But one of the meals they had in the
book was tuna fish on toast," says author Gayle Rosengren. "Tuna was also a food they stocked in their shelter since the cans didn't require refrigeration and the tuna could be eaten plain, right out of the can or on crackers (also in their shelter). Both foods were inexpensive, the tuna was nutritious, and the crackers could last a long time substituting for bread, which would not.
"Chocolate chip cookies were another significant food from Co
ld War on Maplewood Street. They were a special treat in Joanna's house since the ingredients -- sugar and flour and toll house chips -- were not in their regular grocery budget. But after they had their honest talk about their fears and their hopes Joanna and Mom celebrated their newfound hope by baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies to send to Joanna's brother Sam, who's on a navy battleship near Cuba. (Of course, they also make enough cookies so they can have some too!)"