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The War At Home Fear permeates the Rhode Island coastal town where Robert, his mother, and sister are living out the war with his paternal grandparents: Fear of Nazi submarines offshore. Fear of Abel Hoffman, a German artist living reclusively outside of town. And for Robert, a more personal fear, of his hot-tempered, controlling grandfather. As Robert watches the townspeo The War At Home Fear permeates the Rhode Island coastal town where Robert, his mother, and sister are living out the war with his paternal grandparents: Fear of Nazi submarines offshore. Fear of Abel Hoffman, a German artist living reclusively outside of town. And for Robert, a more personal fear, of his hot-tempered, controlling grandfather. As Robert watches the townspeople's hostility toward Hoffman build, he worries about his sensitive cousin Elliot's friendship with the artist. And he wonders more and more about the family secret everyone seems to be keeping from him—a secret involving Robert's father, a bomber pilot in Europe. Will Elliot's ability to detach himself from the turmoil around him be enough to sustain him when prejudice and suspicions erupt into violence? And can Robert find his own way to deal with the shocking truth about his family's past?


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The War At Home Fear permeates the Rhode Island coastal town where Robert, his mother, and sister are living out the war with his paternal grandparents: Fear of Nazi submarines offshore. Fear of Abel Hoffman, a German artist living reclusively outside of town. And for Robert, a more personal fear, of his hot-tempered, controlling grandfather. As Robert watches the townspeo The War At Home Fear permeates the Rhode Island coastal town where Robert, his mother, and sister are living out the war with his paternal grandparents: Fear of Nazi submarines offshore. Fear of Abel Hoffman, a German artist living reclusively outside of town. And for Robert, a more personal fear, of his hot-tempered, controlling grandfather. As Robert watches the townspeople's hostility toward Hoffman build, he worries about his sensitive cousin Elliot's friendship with the artist. And he wonders more and more about the family secret everyone seems to be keeping from him—a secret involving Robert's father, a bomber pilot in Europe. Will Elliot's ability to detach himself from the turmoil around him be enough to sustain him when prejudice and suspicions erupt into violence? And can Robert find his own way to deal with the shocking truth about his family's past?

30 review for The Art of Keeping Cool

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Lakatos

    This was a wonderful story. A Very complex family system encompasses this story that takes place on the east coast of New Hampshire during WW2. It showed how courage looks. Elliott is an incredible character who has learned to function in the shadow of his powerful and intimidating grandfather. Robert, the main character, misunderstands Elliot's choices as being cowardly when truly, Elliott demonstrates the most courage and integrity in the story. I liked how they compared and contrasted the tre This was a wonderful story. A Very complex family system encompasses this story that takes place on the east coast of New Hampshire during WW2. It showed how courage looks. Elliott is an incredible character who has learned to function in the shadow of his powerful and intimidating grandfather. Robert, the main character, misunderstands Elliot's choices as being cowardly when truly, Elliott demonstrates the most courage and integrity in the story. I liked how they compared and contrasted the treatment of a German in nazi-Germany vs in the US. The author did a phenomenal job showing how fear and vulnerability can cause inhumane treatment that is seemingly acceptable. I think this was a great book that shows how a family system can become toxic from the inside, but can look normal and happy on the outside. I hope it allows the reader to take a look at what they tolerate, and to remember that they can always stand up for (in their own personal way) what they believe is right.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    World War II and family/human dynamics are the two main strands of this Scott O'Dell award winner. And using both strands, Lisle tackles a number of other big ideas. World War II • impact on the home front • security along the coast of Rhode Island • women taking men's jobs • Nazi cruelty • local response to German residents (human cruelty) Family/human elements • unspoken family secrets • rifts • impact of a mercurial and harsh patriarch • cousins w contrasting personalities And then there are the two arti World War II and family/human dynamics are the two main strands of this Scott O'Dell award winner. And using both strands, Lisle tackles a number of other big ideas. World War II • impact on the home front • security along the coast of Rhode Island • women taking men's jobs • Nazi cruelty • local response to German residents (human cruelty) Family/human elements • unspoken family secrets • rifts • impact of a mercurial and harsh patriarch • cousins w contrasting personalities And then there are the two artists, one a famed German painter and the other is one of the two cousins (who doesn't fit comfortably into the family). Here is another example of a book that needs an author's note or something that explains how much of the historical dimension is based on fact and how much grew out of the author's imagination.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sha

    This book uses an interesting technique, where the main character (Robert) is not exactly the focus of the story. Robert narrates The Art of Keeping Cool in first person, but focuses a lot of the story on his cousin, Elliot, and Elliot's growing relationship with German artist Abel Hoffman. At the same time, Robert tries to uncover the reason why his family never mentions his father's name -- though this plotline only really speeds up in the last third of the book. One thing caught me eye before This book uses an interesting technique, where the main character (Robert) is not exactly the focus of the story. Robert narrates The Art of Keeping Cool in first person, but focuses a lot of the story on his cousin, Elliot, and Elliot's growing relationship with German artist Abel Hoffman. At the same time, Robert tries to uncover the reason why his family never mentions his father's name -- though this plotline only really speeds up in the last third of the book. One thing caught me eye before I even started reading Janet Taylor Lisle's book, and I'm surprised I spotted it in the first place. A disclaimer on the copyrights page, in fact. Usually, I'm so excited to get into a book I barely even glance at the summary on the back. The disclaimer states that the town of Sachem's Head, Rhode Island, is fictitious; all its inhabitants and their situations are products of the author's imagination and not intended to portray real people or real situations.  Many books include similar statements, the old "resemblances to persons living or dead are purely coincidental." But I paused on this because The Art of Keeping Cool is a work of historical fiction. Historical fiction doesn't need to include real people, but you know, you tend to assume there are some real events in there. So what exactly in this book was real, and what was fake? This could be just my opinion, but I was a little upset that this book leaned more towards fiction than historical. Nope, I don't like to feel like I'm reading a history book when I pick up something labelled "historical fiction," but I also don't like the feeling that an author spun off a whole new world, just in another time zone (unless I'm told from the get go it's magical realism). So for me, a bit of sadness on this part. Let me be clear though, the departures weren't too huge? The book is set in 1942, very soon after the bombing of Pearl Harbour. (Real event.) Robert informs readers that this led to the Americans entering WWII (true) and his father heading off to help pretty much immediately. His father was able to go so quickly because he used to fly with the postal service (true, not true? I don't know). The story takes place in Sachem's Head (not real) Rhode Island, right near Fort Brooks, a naval base (can't find mention of it online, but there were naval bases in Rhode Island). German submarines are spotted off the coast (the only documented cases of U-boats, aka subs, I could find were after 1942, but it's plausible). A passenger ship, the S. S. Cherokee, is sunk by a U-boat in the book and, in real life, a boat of the same name suffered the same fate in 1942. My suggestion, after all my personal internet browsing? A page of facts, where the author provides a list separating the truths from her fictions. Despite this, I really enjoyed the book. Robert and Elliot are an interesting duo. From the beginning, Robert explains that Elliot is a bit of an odd one: withdrawn, prone to silent moments, very introspective. Elliot shares his passion of drawing with Robert, a secret he keeps from the rest of the family for fear of being mocked. It's not a random fear, either. The family is pretty much led by the grandfather, a strict, traditional man who believes men should work hard and earn good money and women should cook and clean. Robert isn't impressed. Elliot stays quiet, because he knows it's the way to survive. Elliot forms a close attachment with Abel, because the pair both see the world in the same way. To Elliot, Abel is not "the German," but an artist who can guide his talent. Robert is far more hesitant. Why, Robert wonders, would a German be in a small town with a navel base nearby? Why would a German care about art and Elliot?  Robert does not dislike Abel, but he does not trust him. At the same time, he does not trust his grandfather. This book allows readers to examine the way we interpret the people around us based on the knowledge we're given. Abel is a reserved man and the only label people have for him is "German": the nation that they are fighting. Thus they despise him. Robert's grandfather is a harsh man who accepts no judgement but his own, and yet no one will speak a bad word about him. But he's a family member, so his actions are accepted. (To drop my own opinion, Abel wasn't the best guy in the world because he certainly had drunk temper moments, but he had reasons explained later in the book and these rages were not directed at people, he just withdrew. As for the grandfather, I did not like him at all.) I'll flip back to the ending of the book, which I mentioned in passing as being a sad one. Not the ending exact, since Robert provides a form of epilogue for the reader to say who is doing what a few years later. But how the story ends in Sachem's Head. Abel's conclusion is a tragic one (I won't spoil) that reflects how persecution exists not only in far away countries. Robert finds out the final pages what happened that severed the ties between his father and his grandfather (it's not pretty). Then the book kind of wraps up and leads into the "epilogue." I'm hovering between three and half or four stars for this book. Like I said at the beginning, I was a little frustrated that the lines of reality and fiction were so blurred in this book. I like it when authors make clear what is true and what is false when something is historical fiction. Also, I really wanted something to happen to the grandfather (change his ways, get yelled at, idk). He was abusive, both verbally and physically. But I think it also shows the way men like him were sort of "accepted" in the 1940s (and even to this day, though to a lesser extent). It was explained away as "he's the man of the house, he needs to lay down the law" and also "what happens in so-and-so's home stays in so-and-so's home." It was more acceptable to hit a child for misbehaviour or force them into things they didn't want. And ... sometimes the bad guy gets away with it? I don't know. But I did like this book, so don't get me wrong! The fact that the grandfather frustrated me so much is a good thing. Makes me want to do something. I didn't plan on making this review so long so... that's it for this one! I'll leave four crowns down there and you decide if you agree or not. Join me on my book journey!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    The Art of Keeping Cool offers a new type of WWII story. Focusing on the daily lives on a family living near an army base in Rhode Island. They live with the daily fear of air raid drills, Nazi submarine attacks, and a father away fighting in the war. The main plot of the story follows the narrator’s quiet, talented cousin Elliot and the family secrets that have stayed buried for so long. Readers who are interested in the weapons, ships, and aircraft from WWII will probably enjoy this book. The The Art of Keeping Cool offers a new type of WWII story. Focusing on the daily lives on a family living near an army base in Rhode Island. They live with the daily fear of air raid drills, Nazi submarine attacks, and a father away fighting in the war. The main plot of the story follows the narrator’s quiet, talented cousin Elliot and the family secrets that have stayed buried for so long. Readers who are interested in the weapons, ships, and aircraft from WWII will probably enjoy this book. The historical connections to art and censorship during WWII is another interesting element of this story. I liked that this WWII historical fiction story brought in some many rarer and interesting elements of the time period. The mysterious events and family secrets kept me engaged in the story. I would recommend it to young readers who were already interested in historical fiction with particular interest in weapons and machinery.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cole Hilliard

    I liked this book because it is about WW2. The book it self looks kinda boreing, but as they say never judge a book by its cover. This book is packed with action, mystery, and heartache. The book is based off of a kid named Robert and he lived on a farm, but then his father had to go away to war as a fighter pilot. Then his mother desided to go live next to their grandparents in Rhode Island and get a job working for the war effort. There’s another boy named Elliot there too. There is also a mys I liked this book because it is about WW2. The book it self looks kinda boreing, but as they say never judge a book by its cover. This book is packed with action, mystery, and heartache. The book is based off of a kid named Robert and he lived on a farm, but then his father had to go away to war as a fighter pilot. Then his mother desided to go live next to their grandparents in Rhode Island and get a job working for the war effort. There’s another boy named Elliot there too. There is also a mysterious German artist living in the woods that Elliot befriended. When the artist gets in trouble Elliots heartbroken read the book to find out more.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jordan

    This is a ok book. The pacing is slow and the cover would make you think that this book is a story that takes place during battles in a war. The book does take place during a war but the setting in in a city the war isn’t in. The author make the characters believable some of the thing that happens to the characters are unrealistic. The author makes the setting work to a ok effect but the pacing is awful. If you aren’t a patient person this book is good because of the story, but bad because of th This is a ok book. The pacing is slow and the cover would make you think that this book is a story that takes place during battles in a war. The book does take place during a war but the setting in in a city the war isn’t in. The author make the characters believable some of the thing that happens to the characters are unrealistic. The author makes the setting work to a ok effect but the pacing is awful. If you aren’t a patient person this book is good because of the story, but bad because of the pacing. I would say my favorite part is in the middle of the book when a mystery is set up. My least favorite part is the start of the book. I would recommend this book to certain people.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the 2nd YA novel I've read *in a row* that features a close family member intentionally maiming another AND a mentor figure causing his own death. There were some interesting bits about WWII, but the pace was slow and the story was heavy in a depressing, helpless kind of way. The redemption is supposed to come from Elliot, but I didn't feel that when reading. There's no redeeming climactic moment to offset the negative climax of discovering of the family secret, just a nice epilogue and This is the 2nd YA novel I've read *in a row* that features a close family member intentionally maiming another AND a mentor figure causing his own death. There were some interesting bits about WWII, but the pace was slow and the story was heavy in a depressing, helpless kind of way. The redemption is supposed to come from Elliot, but I didn't feel that when reading. There's no redeeming climactic moment to offset the negative climax of discovering of the family secret, just a nice epilogue and Elliot's smiling face at the end.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I really liked this middle reader/YA historical fiction about WWII, seen through the eyes of a young boy living in Rhode Island. I love it when I glean new aspects of history from a historical fiction book, and this book explored some things I didn’t know much about, including how close the German subs came to the mainland East coast. The characters are believable and nuanced and there is a great subtext about family secrets.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn Reagan

    I really enjoyed reading this book. It helped me see what a perspective of WWII in the U.S. Robert, his mother, and his sister move to Rhode Island to live with his grandparents while his dad is fighting in the war. When his cousin introduces him to a German artist, who is hated by everyone in the town, Robert becomes suspicious of him. He and his cousin go on adventures to find answers about this artist and they find some interesting information.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shanna

    After Robert's father goes to war (WWII), he moves with his mother and sister to his grandparents, who he's never met. Turns out Grandpa is the ultimate curmudgeon, and Robert eventually finds out just how much an understatement this is. Meanwhile, Robert gets to know his weird cousin, and deal with the harsh realities of a war, which, though far away, is still very real for this east-coast town. Lisle's writing is very engaging, and as the events unfolded I couldn't put the book down. After Robert's father goes to war (WWII), he moves with his mother and sister to his grandparents, who he's never met. Turns out Grandpa is the ultimate curmudgeon, and Robert eventually finds out just how much an understatement this is. Meanwhile, Robert gets to know his weird cousin, and deal with the harsh realities of a war, which, though far away, is still very real for this east-coast town. Lisle's writing is very engaging, and as the events unfolded I couldn't put the book down.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    This is such a thought-provoking book, it is hard to believe that it was written as a youth book. I thought the author's explanation especially using the character's explanation was a good one. In this time where there is so much fear and hatred about certain groups of people, it helped to illustrate how wrong our thinking can be. It demonstrated how the effects of war impact, not just the soldiers but also those at home forcing people in roles that are new to them. This is such a thought-provoking book, it is hard to believe that it was written as a youth book. I thought the author's explanation especially using the character's explanation was a good one. In this time where there is so much fear and hatred about certain groups of people, it helped to illustrate how wrong our thinking can be. It demonstrated how the effects of war impact, not just the soldiers but also those at home forcing people in roles that are new to them.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Sullivan

    Surprisingly good. I got this from one of those little sidewalk libraries. It is listed as a book for teens, but I would also recommend this to adults. Rhode Island small town turns on one of it neighbors for being a German native during WWII. The renown artist Able Hoffman fled Nazi Germany out of fear for his life. Able tell two young boys who befriend him, "it can happen anywhere, even in America." Little did they know....... Surprisingly good. I got this from one of those little sidewalk libraries. It is listed as a book for teens, but I would also recommend this to adults. Rhode Island small town turns on one of it neighbors for being a German native during WWII. The renown artist Able Hoffman fled Nazi Germany out of fear for his life. Able tell two young boys who befriend him, "it can happen anywhere, even in America." Little did they know.......

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sara Jasinski

    Great story about acceptance and the struggle for people to understand and have compassion for one another. It is an interesting look at the fears, worries, and uncertainty of American citizens during WWII. I do think it is sometimes a little slow for your average middle grades reader; not one I would suggest for a reluctant reader.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Donnette

    Another perspective of WWII. A German artist is taking refuge in a small town in Rhode Island. A 13 year old boy is uprooted from his home because his father has gone to serve with the RAF, and lands in the same town to meet family he has never known. Confused by his sensitive cousin Elliot and his mean and fierce grandfather, Robert learns about war on many different levels.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Moore

    The character development of Elliot was most interesting. Nice historical fiction account of the irony of humanity around WWII and how Abel Hoffman, an artist, was treated in Nazi Germany and subsequently in the States.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Rand

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was only ok. The ending left much to be desired - almost seemed like the author wanted it to be done so it just finished. Also thought Abel’s death would have impacted Elliot more than it did.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Becky Reynolds

    This is a middle grade book that is very well written.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Greenlee

    It was an okay book. I definitely expected more of it than was given.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    One of my all-time favorites.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hiraa

    I read this back in middle was school. I really loved it... Probably cause I was so inspired by the cousins art abilities though... 🤣

  21. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    Maybe more like 3.5 stars. I found this book interesting and enjoyable, but wouldn't recommend it to my sons - I don't think it would keep their interest. Maybe more like 3.5 stars. I found this book interesting and enjoyable, but wouldn't recommend it to my sons - I don't think it would keep their interest.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Charlsie Smith

    I really liked this book. It was a good read and easy to follow. I would definitely recommend this book to people! Good read!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    I enjoyed this book but the pacing at the end was off. The ending was rushed.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    I read this in the 4th grade and I don't remember much about it, but a few scenes have stuck in my memory through the years I read this in the 4th grade and I don't remember much about it, but a few scenes have stuck in my memory through the years

  25. 5 out of 5

    Buff

    Good, but unsettling. The family's dysfunction is never resolved, just moved, and the grandparents are emotionally incomplete--to say the least. Good, but unsettling. The family's dysfunction is never resolved, just moved, and the grandparents are emotionally incomplete--to say the least.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Luna

    I felt that the author was probably aiming for an audience younger than the high school senior that I am, but I still enjoyed the book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    While his father is off in Europe serving the country as a fighter pilot in WWII, 12-year-old Robert, his mom and his little sister Carolyn move from their Ohio farm to Rhode Island to stay with his grandparents until the war is over or his dad comes home. Robert never really knew his dad's family, but he quickly learns there are some secrets that they've kept to themselves...and, it the reason why his dad does not communicate with his family since he left as a teenager. So, Robert meets his cou While his father is off in Europe serving the country as a fighter pilot in WWII, 12-year-old Robert, his mom and his little sister Carolyn move from their Ohio farm to Rhode Island to stay with his grandparents until the war is over or his dad comes home. Robert never really knew his dad's family, but he quickly learns there are some secrets that they've kept to themselves...and, it the reason why his dad does not communicate with his family since he left as a teenager. So, Robert meets his cousin, Elliot for the first time. His Uncle Jake and Aunt Nan live with grandma and grandpa. Everyone is hush-hush about the subject of his dad...slowly, though, the story comes out of the abusive relationship he had with his father. Robert learns from his mom that Elliot is much like his father, as he also has a disconnect with grandpa. Elliot is a shy, introverted tween who is a gifted artist and he befriends Abel Hoffman, an artist who lives in the woods. Robert learns that Abel is a famous German artist who defected to the United States when he became fearful of his safety during the Nazi regime. As tensions heat up oversees, the tension is also palpable off the coast of America and affects the town that Robert and his family are living. Bombs are tested and people are fearful. Suspicion and prejudice are slowly seeping into every day life and Abel's well-being is threatened. Elliot remains fierce in his friendship with Abel even though the doubt about his loyalties is dangerous. Clearly, this is a war going on in Europe, yet there is a war of sorts going on in this same Rhode Island town, too. People are quick to let their fear turn into bigotry and prejudice even where there is no justifiable evidence. Robert longs for his dad's strength since he is also at odds with the grandfather who severed all ties with his father. The Art of Keeping Cool is a multi-layered WWII historical fiction work which takes us back to a time when wartime tensions were coloring the lives of every American. Not sure how closely this work will connect with younger readers, but it is worth the effort if one likes historical fiction.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Meaghan Grady

    The Art of Keeping Cool By: Janet Taylor Lisle Meaghan G., Spring 2015 **Historical Fiction #2** THIS MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILER ALERTS! READ IF YOU DARE!!! This book tells the historical story of the before and after effects of the war. This book talks about the war in the 1940's. The setting is a small town in Rhode Island where Robert( main character) and his family just moved there. Robert's father is a fighter pilot in Europe and his mother made them leave Ohio so they could be close to their gr The Art of Keeping Cool By: Janet Taylor Lisle Meaghan G., Spring 2015 **Historical Fiction #2** THIS MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILER ALERTS! READ IF YOU DARE!!! This book tells the historical story of the before and after effects of the war. This book talks about the war in the 1940's. The setting is a small town in Rhode Island where Robert( main character) and his family just moved there. Robert's father is a fighter pilot in Europe and his mother made them leave Ohio so they could be close to their grandparents...in fact they have never met their grandparents so this would be the first time. There is a lot of discovery between the family and friends that are connected. Roberts fathers plane gets shot down! I CRIED RIGHT AT THIS POINT IN THE BOOK!! The family starts to wonder if he is alive or not? I connected this to my life because my cousin was a marine and our family everytime something was on the news about gunfire or military death we would wait up and not sleep. Later in the book, we find out why his father fled and why there was tension between them. ( I am not going to tell you about the climax....you need to read this book ASAP!) I really enjoyed this book because it was filled with emotion and kept my attention throughout. This book really gives a lot of detail and information about the war. I thought this book was very informational and was a really easy read. This book also talks about survival and family ties so I thought it was a good read and connector to my personal life. Everyone should read this book, but grade wise this book is directed towards 4th-8th grade.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Savoie

    This book is a compelling story of war and the after effects in 1942. Robert Saunders father is a fighter pilot in Europe. There mom had just moved the family From there home is small town on Ohio to a small coastal town in Rhode Islandnear the paternal gradparents that he had never met before.There he meets his fathers family who he has never met before. some of who he meet includes his mean spirted grandfathera and his cousin ellit. while there he uncovers a secret as to why long a ago there w This book is a compelling story of war and the after effects in 1942. Robert Saunders father is a fighter pilot in Europe. There mom had just moved the family From there home is small town on Ohio to a small coastal town in Rhode Islandnear the paternal gradparents that he had never met before.There he meets his fathers family who he has never met before. some of who he meet includes his mean spirted grandfathera and his cousin ellit. while there he uncovers a secret as to why long a ago there was a big feud between his father and the family. While living there his cousin has become friends with a very bad person and Robert is dragged into there circle against his will. The the friend is cought and the town goes intpo a spirling rage and burns down the house with all his painting inside. While this is happening Robert finds out that his fathers plane has been shot down and is eagerly waiting news to see if his father has survived. While waiting to see if his father is ok Robert also learns the truth about his family and whay there was a fight so many years ago. during a fighthis grandfather shot his father in the leg and his father fled and never returned. Eventually he learns that his father survived and realizes why his father has coevred up the truth for all these years. This book has a whir wind of emotions, the story that is told is an amzing story and the picture and language that you get from it are amaxing. There is so much deatil and it talk about the war and the way a family has to fight to survive.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lawson

    The Art of Keeping Cool is a historic fiction novel. The cover of the book has a photo of war on the upon half and a face of a boy at the bottom who looks helpless. Also it has a brief summary at the back cover of it. It has 193 pages, it does not have any illustration in these pages. I did not have enough time to finish the book, so that what I know about the story of this book is about the life of Elliot who is a boy lives in the period of time of WWII. The conflict of this story is really ordinar The Art of Keeping Cool is a historic fiction novel. The cover of the book has a photo of war on the upon half and a face of a boy at the bottom who looks helpless. Also it has a brief summary at the back cover of it. It has 193 pages, it does not have any illustration in these pages. I did not have enough time to finish the book, so that what I know about the story of this book is about the life of Elliot who is a boy lives in the period of time of WWII. The conflict of this story is really ordinary which is about how difficult his life is and how terrible and miserable the WWII is. However, there is one thing special of this book which it write in an American perspective of WWII, but not European. It seems like old American people who had actually live over WWII would be interested in it. In addition, according to the perspective of the book, people could know more about what the WWII was like and how it impacts America which I think it is really educated. In my opinion, the conflict of this book is way too ordinary so that it does not really capture my desire of reading it. However, it is interesting to think about WWII in American perspective and think about how is it impacts the future of America. As a result, I focus more about history rather than digging into the story, which I think is part of reason that keep me from disliking it.

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