Jingo Fever by Stephanie Golightly Lowden
April 30, 2012 in Books With Social Studies Content, Cause and Effect, Elementary Educators, Lowden Stephanie GoLightly, Making Personal Connections, Middle Grade Novel Tags: bullying, middle grade historical fiction, World War I book
*Historical middle-grade fiction
*Girl as main character
*Rating: Jingo Fever is a well-written book, set in 1918. It is also universal in its themes–situations that Adelle has to deal with, such as racism/bullying, in the book are current in everyday life.
Short, short summary: (FROM CRICKHOLLOW WEBSITE) This middle-grade historical novel is set in 1918 during World War I in a small Midwestern town. The story deals in a quiet, thoughtful way with the effects of anti-ethnic bigotry (towards German-Americans) during wartime conflicts abroad.
Young Adelle Klein is a German-American girl who has come from Milwaukee with her mother to live for the summer of 1918 with Uncle Mike in Ashland, a small town in northern Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Superior.
Adelle struggles to cope with the local patriotic fervor, in support of American troops abroad . . . but spilling over into a hatred of all things of German origin.
As she seeks friendships with local youngsters her age, she wonders how to deal with the bigotry of anti-German sentiment, which escalates with the approach of the July 4th celebration. In the meantime, she and her mother worry about Adelle’s brother, Karl, a young man of German-American who is fighting with the U.S. troops in France.
The summer’s events will teach Adelle about the importance of standing up for what’s right.
Family & Friendship • Ethnic Heritage • Patriotism during War • Resisting Intolerance & Bigotry • Standing Up to Bullies
So, what do I do with this book?
1. In the beginning (and throughout), Adelle deals with bullying/teasing due to her German heritage. She becomes embarrassed by it. Even though this is set almost 100 years ago, children will be able to relate to Adelle’s feelings and actions. Ask students to journal about Adelle’s problems. Then ask them to write about if they have ever felt that way and what they did/felt/wanted to do.
2. Students may not understand why there is so much hatred toward the Germans. Some history may be needed to understand the story to its fullest. You can do a KWL (Know Wonder Learn) chart about WWI topics to see what your students/child already knows about this time period and what they are wondering. Here is a link to a good site that shows how to do a KWL chart: http://www.education.com/reference/article/K-W-L-charts-classroom/
3. Discuss the title of the book, Jingo Fever. Do students like the title? Do they think it is a good match for the book? Which characters in the novel have jingo fever? Ask students to give examples to support their answers. Does Jingo fever have a positive or negative impact on these characters’ lives?