2008 Colorado Book Award Finalist
2007 EVVY Award winner for Juvenile Fiction
The Home-Front Heroes Series - for Ages 8 and Up
Doing My Part
Based on a true story . . .
Until World War II came along, fourteen-year-old Helen Marshall's biggest problem had been her height. Few men in Hayden's Valley, Illinois, are as tall as Helen. But when Helen's mother is hurt and can't work and her favorite cousin ships off to fight, Helen must find a way to support both her family and her country. Along with her best friend, Janie, she takes a summer job at a war factory and discovers that not everyone welcomes her enthusiasm.
Determined to prove she can handle her new responsibilities, Helen must confront a lazy boss, two older women who try to slow down her work, and townspeople who gang up on one of their own. But when she answers the eerie cries of her mysterious German neighbor, Mrs. Osthoff, Helen learns the true sacrifice of war. And when she keeps a secret for a friend, she realizes that grown-up decisions sometimes have life-or-death consequences.
Readers, don’t miss the last few pages to learn more about the real Helen Marshall.
Meet the Real Helen Marshall
Just a few kudos from fans:
This is a rewarding novel! Author Teresa R. Funke draws on her fascinating interviews with real people to create an engaging story about a girl coming of age in Illinois during WWII. Young readers will quickly become caught up in Helen's struggles and triumphs. The warm characters, compelling storyline, and vivid historical details help readers gain little-known perspective on a pivotal time in our history.
--Laura Resau, author of What the Moon Saw and Red Glass
I liked how it gave a lot of details about the war, but it was just written like a good story. I liked the character, Mrs. Osthoff, a lot. She was so sad. And I liked how the main character, Helen, was so confident that she could succeed. I'd definitely recommend this book because I couldn't put it down. I can't wait for the next one!
--Marissa age 12
I was the sort of student who never paid attention in history class, because the teachers just droned on about names and dates that meant nothing to me. If only we'd read books like Teresa Funke's Doing My Part, I would have been riveted (bad pun). Seriously, I'm amazed by how much information Mrs. Funke wove into this book while captivating me with compelling characters and an exciting story line. The way to understand history isn't to read about it, but to experience it, and that's what Doing My Part does so well --giving a young audience a sense of what it would be like to grow up during World War II. I highly recommend this book to middle grade teachers and to anyone looking for a good quick read.
--Todd Mitchell, author of The Traitor King and The Secret of Lying