Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Book Review: Almost Forever by Maria Testa

Title: Almost Forever
Author: Marie Testa
# Of Pages: 80
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: August 11, 2003
Level: Ages 9+
Rating: 2 Hearts



A spare, lyrical - and ultimately heartening - novel about one family’s experience during the Vietnam War that has much to say to a new generation of readers.

Doctors don’t fight; doctors heal. But when the young narrator of Maria Testa’s lyric novel watches her father march off to serve a year in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, a year seems like a very long time. A year is a long time when you’re waiting for letters, waiting for word. A year seems endless when you don’t know where your father is anymore. A year is almost forever when you’re wondering . . . and forgetting.

My Verdict

Almost Forever is a historical fiction book for young readers about a father going off to war in Vietnam and how his family, particularly his daughter, deal with and feel about the situation.

“I never cared much
about the mail
never cared much
about the envelopes and packages
that were never meant
for me.

But Daddy wrote to us
every day
from Vietnam
and that changed

The story is told from the point of view of a six-year-old girl whose name we never even learn. Since the story has such a young narrator, it was interesting too see how much she understood of what was going on around her. While I thought she grasped it really well for one so young, there were some points where you could see she didn’t fully understand. Like when she talks about her mom watching the news every night and how she thinks it’s because she’s in love with the News anchor.

Never the less, it only took ten minutes to read so you really can’t go wrong. 


  1. I had a problem with the narrator's age. I wish that she was older so we could delve more into her feelings about her father's absence.

    Your last sentence made me laugh!

    1. I remember that from your review, but her age wasn't something that bothered me. I just felt the whole thing was too abrupt and didn't really connect on any level.

  2. Yeah, ten minutes? Totally worth reading. Actually, this sounds like something that would be great in a class to supplement a Vietnam unit--maybe in social studies. I'll have to pass along the title.

    1. Good idea, I think this book could work nicely as a classroom supplement for a study on Vietnam. Glad to hear you'll be passing on the title =)


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