This Means War! by Ellen Wittlinger

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October 1962. Juliet Klostermeyer's world is turning upside down. All she hears from her parents and teachers and on the news is the Russian threat and the Cuban Missile Crisis. And things aren't much better at home. Her best friend, Lowell, doesn't seem interested in being her friend anymore--he'd rather hang out with the new boys instead. When Patsy moves in, things are looking up. Patsy is fearless, and she challenges the neighborhood boys to see who's better, stronger faster: a war between the boys and the girls. All the talk of war makes Juliet uneasy. As the challenges become more and more dangerous, Juliet has to decide what she stands for--and what's worth fighting for.

This is a powerful middle-grade coming of age novel from teen powerhouse Ellen Wittlinger.

About Ellen Wittlinger

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Ellen Wittlinger is the critically acclaimed author of the teen novels Love & Lies: Marisol's Story, Parrotfish, Blind Faith, Sandpiper, Heart on My Sleeve, Zigzag, and Hard Love (an American Library Association Michael L. Printz Honor Book and a Lambda Literary Award winner), and the middle-grade novel Gracie's Girl. She has a bachelor's degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. A former children's librarian, she lives with her husband in Haydenville, Massachusetts.
Published June 26, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 229 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for This Means War!

Kirkus Reviews

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When Patsy learns of Lowell’s transgression and his new friends’ attitude that girls are inferior, she suggests a series of tests to prove the boys wrong.

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Publishers Weekly

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Fifth-grader Juliet cannot grasp why Lowell doesn't want to be her friend anymore, so when Patsy moves into her neighborhood, she happily befriends the loud, opinionated girl.

Mar 15 2010 | Read Full Review of This Means War!

Common Sense Media

the impending war makes a powerful parallel to the more personal war that Juliet and Patsy are fighting against the neighborhood boys.

Apr 20 2010 | Read Full Review of This Means War!


Many children’s first experience of peer pressure comes with the sudden expectation that boys play with boys and girls play with girls, and that anyone who fails to adhere to this standard has something wrong with them.

Apr 20 2010 | Read Full Review of This Means War!

Youth Services Book Review

Patsy riles both the girls and the boys into a competition to prove which sex is better: 9 tests, boys v.

Dec 06 2010 | Read Full Review of This Means War!

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