When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Seidel Levine

Subtitle: The World War I Diary of Simone Spencer, New York City to the Western Front 1917 (Dear America Series)

Published: 2002

Genre: middle grade historical fiction

Length: 166 pages

Setting: NYC and France, 1917

Font: Centaur MT

Interest: I chose it as our second WWI book for American History Club. It’s part of the Dear America series, which are set up as a diary of a young person going through an important part of American history.

Summary: Simone has just graduated from high school. While she led a bit of a pampered life, being part of the upper class, she feels the need to contribute to the war effort. Volunteering at the YWCA doesn’t feel like enough. Nursing the wounded back to health isn’t her cup of tea. Finally, she’s able to work as a switchboard operator, translating between the French and American armies. As the fighting gets fiercer and more men are wounded, the “hello girls” are moved closer to the front. While she’s in France, Simone find her brother and falls in love with one of his friends.

Final thoughts: While the book sheds some light on an unknown aspect of WWI (the Hello Girls) where women were allowed to participate in the war effort, I wasn’t very impressed with the rest of the book. It seemed very thin on plot and details compared to many of the other books we’ve read for American History Club. The main character seemed quite shallow, with very little to say in her diary. I was definitely limited in appropriate books on WWI for the boys. There’s not a lot of middle-grade literature on WWI, and finding something the library system had two of was even harder.

Title comes from: When Simone’s brother joined the Army, they sent off with the sentiment that they’d see him “When Christmas came again.”

Reading challenges fulfilled: 77/100 in my 100 Book Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


1 Comment

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One response to “When Christmas Comes Again by Beth Seidel Levine

  1. Pingback: What I Will Be Reading #15 | Fill Your Bookshelf

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