Elaine West is a young girl growing up in Fresno, California in the wake of the Great Depression. While her family, like all families of the time, has struggled to make ends meet over the past few years, her life is generally happy and free from worry. Free, that is, until the attack on Hawaii's Pearl Harbor plunges the United States suddenly and unexpectedly into a global war. Now, the only thing standing between the enemy and Elaine's home city of Fresno, California is less than two hundred miles and a vast, unprotected, open sea. Written in the tradition of Johnny Tremain and Across Five Aprils, When the Lights Go On Again takes you back to California in the 1940s, depicting everyday life and the war that shaped it. Be there with Elaine as she grows up during the most destructive conflict the world has ever seen. See the lives of the people of Fresno during those dark years-- blackout drills, shortages, food and gasoline rationing. Meet the young men from throughout the nation who came through Fresno, headed for the battlefields of the Pacific. Witness a nation of immigrants harass and imprison their Japanese neighbors, casting their humanity aside amid the terrifying realities of war. Learn, as Elaine did, of such horrors as the Bataan Death March and the Holocaust. Watch the dawn of the atomic age. See all of this and more, through the eyes of a young girl who is quickly becoming a young woman as she tries desperately to make sense of it all.
About Margaret Walters
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Published October 18, 2010