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*100 Days and 99 Nights* by Alan Madison - middle grades book review
100 Days and 99 Nights
by Alan Madison
Ages 8-12 144 pages Little, Brown March 2010 Paperback    

In these days of wars in countries we have never visited, it can be a traumatic thing for a child to have a parent serving in the military.

Esmeralda has lived in Korea, Germany, even Africa while her father served in the Army. Always, Esme’s dad has made the moves fun and exciting, and he has always told Esme and her brother, Ike, that serving in the Army was his duty.

Esme’s father has always reminded her of how lucky they are to be from the United States, and that that privilege comes with a price. So, Esme is not surprised when her father announces that he has to go away for a while without them, but she is not happy about it either.

For days, Esme is able to pretend that her father is just in another room or late coming in from work. But as the 100 days of his deployment slowly pass off the calendar, Esme decides to do something to make the days of separation go more quickly.

She gathers her friends and schoolmates to make a positive difference on the home front. Since the story centers on Saturday morning pancakes, the author includes the pancake recipe in the book.

This is a simple story for kids who have parents in the military, but it is also a lesson for all of us about the sacrifice of military families. This is a quick read with children but will open many doors of discussion.
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