I seem to be in love with the 1960s, or at least books set in this time period. Rich Wallace's War and Watermelon gives us a look at the 1960s through the eyes of thirteen year old Brody.
Brody's older brother Ryan is closing in on his eighteenth birthday, a time his parents fear because of the possibility of being drafted to fight in Vietnam. Ryan is against the war, looking for peaceful ways to express his disfavor with the President.
Brody knows their is tension at home. He is also savoring his last days of summer, anticipating junior high. His beloved Mets, despite many losing seasons, have become a team to watch (or listen to on the radio at night), and Brody also shares his favorite songs in a list that changes as the story progresses - giving us a real feel for 1967 in America.
Brody is lucky to have an older brother like Ryan and he knows it. He comments that Ryan has never made him feel bad and never fought with him. Ryan even willingly takes Brody along to Woodstock, a true adventure, history in the making.
Wallace has done a great job of making this book feel authentic. TV shows, music, and the various world events all make up this story set in the 1960s, a time of great change in our country. I loved Deborah Wiles' Countdown, another novel set during this same time, and this is a great companion novel.