Laura’s Victory: End of the Second World War (1945) (Sisters in Time #24)
Veda Boyd Jones
Barbour Publishing (2006)
Reviewed by Anne Marie Medema (age 12) for Reader Views (3/08)
“Laura’s Victory” is written by Veda Boyd Jones and is appropriate for children ages 8 to 12. Veda Boyd Jones cleverly winds a fictional family into the historic events of the Second World War. The author takes the tragic events of World War II and relays them to what is happening in America. The words chosen to tell the story are descriptive and understandable for a child. Veda Boyd Jones brings the history of World War II to a level that can interest and influence children. Veda Boyd Jones has a simplistic writing style that makes the reader want to continue to the end of the book. The whole book can be summed up in the final three words of the book, God Bless America. These words say that no matter what nationality you are, America is one melting pot of the world, and Veda Boyd Jones makes us understand that clearly.
In the beginning of “Laura’s Victory” Laura’s brother Eddie comes down with the deadly disease called polio. Eddie fights the polio and survives although the disease cripples one of his legs. Eddie is confined to a brace on his right leg. Laura’s other brother, Bruce, is fighting for the United States Army during World War II in an undisclosed location. Laura wants to know where Bruce is fighting. So Laura devises a code that makes Bruce’s letters look like simple letters. Yvonne, Laura’s friend, helps Laura devise the code. Laura and Yvonne give the code to Maude, an old woman whose son is also fighting for the US in WWII in the Pacific Ocean. Maude helps Laura’s mother run the family’s hotel business. Class elections are held in school. Both Laura and Eddie became President of their respective classes. In social studies they are asked to find out their nationality. Laura discovers her father is from South Africa and her mother is from Germany. A boy in class ridicules Laura and others because their ancestors are the enemy. Laura’s old friends, the Wakamutsu family, bring home a surprise. They adopt a 5th grade girl named Miyoko whose father is fighting in England for the United States. They learn that President Roosevelt is dead and Harry Truman, Vice President, takes over the office of President. Laura feels a special bond to President Roosevelt because he had polio just like Eddie, her brother. Later Laura finds out her family is moving to a home in the outskirts of Seattle, Washington. Laura is sad because she grew up in the hotel and loves the people she has known. Laura’s family still owns the hotel. The Second World War ends. Upon hearing the news, Maude cuts open her pillow; and she shakes the feathers around the streets of Seattle in delight. A few weeks later, Laura and Eddie spot their brother Bruce coming home from the war. They are overjoyed. The book ends at a Thanksgiving dinner that Laura says is the best ever!
I recommend the book “Laura’s Victory” because it is filled with suspense and adventure. I consider “Laura’s Victory” to be one of the best “Sister in Time” books that I have ever read. It is a touching story because of how the war has affected Laura and her family who live in America. The author entwines the life of common Americans into a fascinating adventure during World War II. Laura is a character I can relate to because she is independent and devoted to her family. With every page turn there was a new twist to the story that made me feel like I was Laura Edwards. “Laura’s Victory” is a must read.