A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Readers will certainly learn about the Cuban Missile Crisis. They may want to know more about bomb shelters and the duck-and-cover exercises that the kids do at school.
Ultimately, Lowell and Juliet are able to find a way to continue being friends -- and still make space for new people in their lives. Juliet is also able to stand up to the pushy Patsy.
Positive Role Models
The author does a good job of presenting a wide spectrum of girls and boys with a variety of interests and personalities. Juliet is both strong and sensitive, and readers will understand both her feelings about the impending war -- and her complicated feelings for Lowell. Even when the neighborhood bully is arrested, Juliet feels sorry for him. Several characters do engage in dangerous behavior, from shoplifting to setting a barn on fire. The neighborhood bully ultimately ends up in a juvenile detention facility.
Violence & Scariness
Some of the challenges involve risky behavior, like jumping from a high tree or climbing into the yard of a scary dog. During the final challenge, Bruce sets a barn on fire, and several of the kids get injured.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
One girl has a crush on a boy, and they develop a very innocent relationship that involves walking and talking together.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Some words like "stupid" and "sissy."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Juliet's family owns a grocery store, and mostly because of this there are some references to products like Oreos, Zero bars, and Rice Krispies.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character shoplifts some cigarettes.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this book involves a series of challenges between a group of neighborhood boys and girls. Some of the challenges involve risky behavior, like jumping from a high
tree or shoplifting. During the final
challenge, the neighborhood bully sets a barn on fire and several of the kids get
Is It Any Good?
This book discusses some tough gender issues, introducing them to readers in a way that will make sense to them. Juliet is a sensitive but strong character, and readers will understand both how mad she is at Lowell, and how much she misses her old friend. Setting the book during the Cuban Missile Crisis was a stroke of genius; the impending war makes a powerful parallel to the more personal war that Juliet and Patsy are fighting against the neighborhood boys. Also, putting the book in the past also lets tweens talk about how much has changed when it comes to gender politics (and what hasn't).
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.