Bertie’s War is set in Washington state during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Bertie bounces from one embarrassing situation to another as she deals with her fears: fear of displeasing her stern father, fear of not keeping her mischievous brother out of trouble, but especially fear of a nuclear war and those “dirty Commies.” How can she feel safe when her father won’t build a bomb shelter? How can she stop making a fool of herself at school when air raid drills send her into a panic? She doesn’t want to “duck and cover,” she wants someone to stop the bombs before they come. By the time Bertie enters the seventh grade, it seems the entire world has gone crazy–and taken her with it.
Fiction readers ages 10-14 will be entertained by Aaron’s mischievous antics and Bertie’s attempts to deal with her fears. The story is relevant to readers today, growing up in the shadow of 9/11 and terrorist threats. It balances humor and fear while providing glimpses into small town America and accurate information about a real, historical conflict.