My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck, Long Island, New York 1941 (Dear America Series)
Mary Pope Osborne
Thirteen-year-old Madeline's diaries for 1941 and 1942 reveal her experiences living on Long Island during World War II while her father is away in the Navy.
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 S 23 R We decided not to include U-boat patrol in the list of activities because we don’t want to create a panic about the situation. Just the two of us — “Colonel” and “Major” — will patrol the beach. FEBRUARY 20, 1942 Dear Diary, Today Johnny and I made our big announcement to the class. When we described the K3F club, kids seemed genuinely knocked out by the idea. We wrote on the board: “Victory does not come without a price.” Under that, we listed our seven ideas of
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 S 23 R Mrs. Hawkins shook her head in disapproval, but poured the fat into my can, anyway. Later, at dinner, she told everyone she’d never in her life heard of a fat club. She wanted to know what kind of people joined a fat club. I cracked up and explained to the others what had happened. They cracked up, too, and soon we were all laughing so hard, we couldn’t stop. Though I think she still didn’t understand, Mrs. Hawkins joined in because she’s such
to be completely grateful for that. If there’s anything to worry about, Mom says, we’ll worry about it later. 141 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 S 22 R 23 RRD_001-181_r5kp.qxd 4/17/00 1:04 PM Page 142 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 S 23 R JUNE 29, 1942 Dear Diary, This morning I rode to the bowling lanes to tell Johnny the good news. He was setting up pins when I shouted at him, “My dad is safe!” He grinned and dropped the pins and came
did. When I sat up again, I had a roaring headache. I felt like throwing up, too. It was all too much. I told Johnny I had to go lie down, and he helped me to the back porch and called for my mom. Clara came instead and ushered me inside, and I told Johnny I’d see him tomorrow. Clara helped me upstairs, and I fell on my bed, feeling like I was in a fever. I went to sleep and slept for the rest of the day and night. I guess I’m not much of a colonel if I can’t handle the consequences of my
Tojo. 22 RRD_001-181_r5kp.qxd 4/17/00 1:04 PM Page 23 NOVEMBER 27, 1941 Dear Diary, I never thought I’d have a Thanksgiving dinner that didn’t taste good. Mrs. Hawkins and Clara served us duck — duck! — instead of turkey. Lumpy sweet potatoes, kale, and of course, ﬁsh chowder. No stufﬁng, no cranberry sauce, no pumpkin pie. Theo, Mrs. Hawkins, Mrs. Rosenthal, and Clara didn’t mind, because they don’t seem to know the difference. Mom didn’t mind, because she’s too nice and kind. Miss Burke