Saturday, October 27, 2007

Heroes came in all sizes then!

What is a hero? Davy Bowman had two heroes: his Dad and his older brother, Bill. It was World War 2 and if you were a kid growing up in any small town in the Midwest there were never-ending collection drives for newspapers, old junk metal and even old cars. Heroes came in all sizes back then. Davy's Dad owned the Phillips 66 gas station in town. He had been wounded in World War 1 and had one bad arm, but he had more fun with the kids in the neighborhood than any other dad. Davy tells of the night when his Dad caught a Halloween prankster "red-handed". It was a popular prank to jam a stick in the steering wheel and seat and make the horn blare. So Davy and his Dad hid way down in the seats of their old Packard and waited for one of the pranksters to come along. Just as a hand reached in the window, Davy's Dad grabbed his wrist and wouldn't let go! The kid screamed, "Let me go!" But Davy's Dad held on tight and with the kid standing on the running board, drove him home to his father to be punished.
Davy's older brother Bill was training to fly B17 bombers. He was tall, strong and handsome in his uniform and Davy wanted to be just like him. When Bill finally got sent to England to fly the B17's in the war, it was a tense time for the Bowman family at home.
This story is touching yet, as is true of all books by Richard Peck, it is full of hilarious situations like the three girl bullies in Davy's class and how they got their just reward; or the day that Davy and his best friend Scooter got caught in old Miss Titus' antique car in her barn.
Author Richard Peck wrote this novel to honor his father. Come take a nostalgic journey to the homefront during the '40's. On the Wings of Heroes is an excellent novel for all kids, 10 years old and up!

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