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list price: $12.95
also available: eBook
category: Children's Fiction
published: May 2014
publisher: Coteau Books

The Comic Book War

by Jacqueline Guest

tagged: superheroes

Can three comic-book superheroes, and a rock that falls from the sky, really protect Robert Tourond's brothers as they fight the enemy in Europe during World War II? It's 1943 and World War II is raging. 13-year-old Robert Tourond is safe at home in Calgary, but his three brothers are all overseas, fighting the Nazis. A dreamer, Robert closely follows the exploits of his three favourite comic book heroes - Captain Ice, Sedna of the Sea and the Maple Leaf Kid - who also battle thebad guys in the weekly comics he spends his allowance on. Robert decides that the superheroes will protect his brothers and bring them home, so when he recovers a meteorite that he saw fall in Nose Hill Park near his home, in the very same week that a meteorite features in the story lines of all three of his heroes, he has no doubt that a magical link exists between them. Robert has a nemesis of his own on the streets of Calgary — a girl they call "Crazy Charlie", though not to her face. Charlie and Robert's paths seem entwined as well — Charlie wins the prize money that Robert badly needs to keep the comics coming. When Robert gets a job delivering telegrams, Charlie's doing it too, cutting into his profits. First they discover exactly what news those telegrams they're fighting to deliver has for the recipients. Then Charlie has to deliver one to Robert's house. Can Robert and his heroes really protect all three brothers and bring them home? What will happen if reality comes crashing into his world, like a meteorite falling from space? Who will help then?

About the Author

Jacqueline Guest is the award-winning Métis writer of over a dozen books for young readers. She is the recipient of the Indspire Award for the Arts, formerly the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, and was named to the Order of Canada for her ongoing efforts in the world of literacy. Jacqueline lives in the Rocky Mountain foothills of Alberta.

Contributor Notes

Jacqueline Guest is the author of more than a dozen novels for young readers, many of them award winners, including two previous Coteau Books titles - The Outcasts of River Falls and Ghost Messages. Jacqueline's works are well-known for having main characters who come from different ethnic backgrounds including First Nations, Inuit or Metis. In 2013, she was awarded the Indspire Award in recognition of her outstanding career achievement. Created in 1993 in conjunction with the UN'sInternational Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples, the Indspire Awards represent the highest honour the Indigenous community bestows upon its own achievers. Alberta born and raised, Jacqueline Guest lives and writes in a cabin in the pine woods of the Rocky Mountain foothills. Robert's brothers in The Comic Book War are based on her father and his two brothers.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
12 to 14
7 to 9


Top  Grade
Librarian review

The Comic Book War

It’s 1943 when Robert Tourond gets a message from a falling meteorite – his favourite comic book superheroes really ARE protecting his brothers, who are all overseas fighting “that Hitler.” All Robert has to do is keep buying those comic books, and he’ll make sure everyone stays safe and sound. Robert soon discovers that although he and others on the Home Front can make a difference, he and his heroes cannot really protect his brothers.

Comic books are the passion and salvation of Robert, an adolescent who finds himself caught up in the events of World War II. Robert’s story focuses on the importance of communications and telegrams to the war effort. Many students will relate to Robert’s love of comic book superheroes, and benefit from the way in which Robert uses familiar stories of superheroes to make sense of the tumult of wartime.

Also available: Ghost Messages by Jacqueline Guest; Outcasts of River Falls by Jacqueline Guest

Author available for school visits. @JacquelineGuest

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.

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