If you like historical novels, especially those centered around WWII, then this unique title will be just the ticket you need. Louisa June and the Nazis in the Waves is set in Virginia where the vast waters it borders have become a hazard to everyone living there. The history is boldly exposed as to how Nazi U-boat submarines sank nearly 400 U.S. freighters and tankers off the eastern coastline. Here’s the book jacket synopsis:
Days after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Hitler declared war on the U.S., unleashing U-boat submarines to attack American ships. Suddenly, the waves outside Louisa June’s farm aren’t for eel-fishing or marveling at wild swans or learning to skull her family’s boat—they’re dangerous, swarming with hidden enemies.
Her oldest brothers’ ships risk coming face-to-face with U-boats. Her sister leaves home to weld Liberty Boat hulls. And then her daddy, a tugboat captain, and her dearest brother, Butler, are caught in the crossfire.
Her mama has always swum in a sea of melancholy, but now she really needs Louisa June to find moments of beauty or inspiration to buoy her. Like sunshine-yellow daffodils, good books, or news accounts of daring rescues of torpedoed passengers.
Determined to help her Mama and aching to combat Nazis herself, Louisa June turns to her quirky friend Emmett and the indomitable Cousin Belle, who has her own war stories—and a herd of cats—to share. In the end, after a perilous sail, Louisa June learns the greatest lifeline is love.
The first person narration by Louisa is a perfect way to tell the story of this little known event in U.S. history. It was all new to me. Centered around Louisa’s family the scenes show how depression lacked treatment options in the 1940’s along with the devastating effects of war. Louisa exhibits bravery but also emotional setbacks.
L.M. Elliot has crafted a well researched and important look at how the effects of World War impacted the home front. Although recommended for grades 3-7, the majority of readers will likely be from those in middle school.
BOOK BIRTHDAY: March 22, 2022 PAGE COUNT: 320
FIVE MORE THINGS TO LIKE ABOUT LOUISA JUNE AND THE NAZIS IN THE WAVES by L.M. Elliott
- Don’t skip the 17-page author note in the back. There you will get a deeper understanding of the historical aspects along with resources for those suffering from depression in today’s world.
- Cousin Belle is a take charge kind of woman and she’s hard not to like. So many good things in this person and Louisa is lucky to have her support.
- The harrowing climatic ending scene will have you gripping the book in anticipation of the dangers unfolding.
- The realization mental illness in the 40’s was more of a hidden condition. All you could do was hope the person got better with whatever had taken over their normal way of living. Thankfully, things have progressed the past 80 years though we still have a long way to go.
- The fact that war effects more than just those fighting. It’s the children who often feel helpless in doing anything but Louisa can’s sit back and do nothing. Her emotions in every situation are honest and hard to predict. A great character arc here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
L. M. Elliott was an award-winning Washington-based magazine journalist, covering women’s issues, mental health, and the performing arts, before becoming a New York Times best-selling author of historical and biographical fiction. Her novels explore a variety of eras (the Italian Renaissance, the American Revolutionary War, WWII, and the Cold War), and are written for a variety of ages. Many of her works have been named NCSS/CBC Notables (National Council of Social Studies and Children’s Book Council), Bank Street College Best Books, Jefferson Cup Honor Books, Kirkus Bests, and Grateful American Book Prize winners. Elliott holds a BA from Wake Forest University and a master’s in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a lifelong Virginian and history-lover.
(For more visit the author’s web page)
I received a copy of the book to use for my honest review. Comments are welcome below.