Lunch-Box Dream by Tony Abbott

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Bobby and his family are visiting Civil War battlefields on the eve of the war’s centenary, while inside their car, quiet battles rage. When an accident cuts their trip short, they return home on a bus and witness an incident that threatens to deny a black family seats. What they don’t know is the reason for the family’s desperation to be on that bus: a few towns away, their child is missing.

Lunch-Box Dream presents Jim Crow, racism, and segregation from multiple perspectives.  In this story of witnessing without understanding, a naïvely prejudiced boy, in brief flashes of insight, starts to identify and question his assumptions about race.


About Tony Abbott

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Tony Abbott was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and lived in a small house on top of a hill. There were tons of books in every room (because both of his parents were teachers) and he would say that these books were his first introduction to the world of literature. He has been a bookseller, a publisher, and a library clerk, but it was only when he began reading bedtime stories to his daughters that the spark of writing finally turned to children's books. Since then, Tony has authored over 85 books for younger readers. He is currently a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Creative Writing MFA faculty at Lesley University. He presents writing workshops and seminars to children and adults nationwide. He lives in Trumbull, Connecticut with his wife, two daughters, and a pretty good dog. You can visit him online at
Published July 19, 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 189 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Lunch-Box Dream

Kirkus Reviews

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This, together with historical references that will likely slip past children and sometimes tortured syntax, derails prolific series fantasist Abbott’s (The Secrets of Droon) attempt at an autobiographical historical novel.

Jul 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Lunch-Box Dream

Publishers Weekly

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(The book helpfully opens with a list of the characters and their relationships—an essential resource.) In the final scenes, the separate stories converge, with subtle finesse, in one small, iconic physical gesture.

May 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Lunch-Box Dream


The story is told from the points of view of Bobby, Jacob, Hershel, Louisa, Cora, Grandma, Frank, James and Ruth, with Bobby narrating the bulk of the tale.

Oct 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Lunch-Box Dream

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