Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Book Review: Don't Know Where, Don't Know When

What a nightmare.

Hannah Dias, California Girl with Attitude, and Alex, her laid-back brother, have moved from exciting San Francisco to boring Snipesville, Georgia. Life doesn't improve when they meet Brandon, a dorky kid who is plotting his escape from the Deep South, and the weird Professor, who has a strange secret.

Suddenly, the kids are catapulted thousands of miles and almost seventy years to England during World War Two.

They fall into a world of stinging nettles, dragon ladies, bomb blasts, ugly underwear, stinky sandwiches, painful punishments, and non-absorbing toilet paper. They learn so much more than they could ever learn in a history class. Not that they want to learn it.

But they can't go home unless they find George Braithwaite, whoever he is, and whatever it is that he has to do with Snipesville.

--From Goodreads

Cover Inspection:
I like the kids that are present on this cover. Also love the font!

First Thoughts:
This kids are really miserable!


My Review:
Raise your hand if History was the subject that you groaned over in school. If you're raising your hand right now, you are just like me! When I was younger I abhorred History, and it wasn't because of the subject to be completely honest. It was because each and every one of the teachers I came across treated History like it absolutely had to be this boring and dry curriculum. To me it was most definitely a groan worthy subject.

Enter my college professor, who put my preconceived notions out on their ear! He made things interesting, he dove into the real people instead of skimming the surface with facts. He encouraged us to read real accounts of people's lives during these times. I realized then that learning about the people who lived during these times really helps drive the subject home. Annette Laing and my professor have truly changed my whole notion of History as a subject, and I couldn't be happier.

Don't Know Where, Don't Know When is such a brilliantly written and engaging story that you won't notice you are actually learning something at the same time until you've finished reading. Annette executes a perfect story that will have you thinking, "That really happened back then?" and leave you audibly gasping at times. The pace in the story is excellent, and from the moment the children leave the present there is never a dull moment! I am not exaggerating when I say that if all the books I read when I was younger were like this one, I would have been a much more happy pupil.

The characters are really what make the story come alive. Alex is smart and observant, Hannah is fiery and a bit sassy, and Brandon is a history buff who is quick on his feet. They are each very different, and this allows the reader to connect deeply with at least one of them throughout the story. I was extremely impressed with how these children were able to deal with this new lifestyle they were thrown into despite their young ages. Whether they were hiding from bombing raids in the London subway, or chugging through the streets in a 1940's automobile, everything they did was exciting and engrossing.

As I said, I was never much interested in History, being more of a Literature girl myself. This book takes my favorite subject and a subject I'm just becoming more acquainted with, and melds them into an enjoyable and truly fantastic story. I urge you to give Annette Laing's books a try! You will likely be surprised at how quickly you fall in love with them as well.

Book Details
Title: Don't Know Where, Don't Know When
Author: Annette Laing
Publisher: Confusion Press
Pages: Paperback; 204
Source: Received from author.
FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Final Rating:5 Keys to My Heart

[+/-] Click to see Rating.


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