Booklist Reviews "Welcome to America, Champ!"
The luxurious Queen Mary oceanliner once sailed with diapers drying on clotheslines suspended over the ship’s emptied swimming pool. Why? This was part of a unique cargo transported by luxury liners in 1946: tens of thousands of “soldier brides” and their children who immigrated at the end of World War II to reunite with the U.S. servicemen they had married overseas. This entry into the Tales of the World series shines a vivid light on war’s upheavals by focusing on fictional Thomas, a nine-year-old boy who faces leaving home, friends, grandparents, and his beloved cricket for the U.S., a new father, a new school, and the strange sport of baseball. A wedding cake made by friends’ saving up sugar and powdered eggs for weeks and a view from the train into London of the Blitz’s devastation bring home war’s everyday hardship and trauma. At the same time, Thomas is moving into a hopeful future. Heartfelt watercolor illustrations bring to life the anxiety and tentative joys of this unique historical situation.