Hold On Tight

Author: Klassen, Heather

Subjects: American History; Vietnam War; Family Relationships; Peace Movement

Age: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Grade: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

ISBN: 978-0-88092-716-1

Order code: 7161

Price: $14.99
Website price: $10.00

Hold On Tight Cover

It’s the 1960s, a time when America and families were being torn apart by the Vietnam War. When Suzanne’s older brother Bobby is drafted, Suzanne’s mother wants them all to move to Canada, but he enlists to fight. Suzanne and her mother join the protesters against the war, but Suzanne’s father thinks that patriotic Americans should support the war the way they did when he fought in World War II. The divisions in the family reflect the divisions in the country when differences about the war played a major part in fomenting hostile confrontations throughout the land.

Against a background of box hockey games, the first landing on the moon, and the music of Bob Dylan, Suzanne not only has to contend with missing her brother, she also must see her mother’s pain and watch her parents grow distant from each other amidst their resentment. She also has to decide where she herself stands on the issues, to cope with the consequences, and to deal with her brother's ultimate fate.

This novel provides vivid insights into the era and into the disagreements that defined a decade that brought tragedy to so many.

Author Heather Klassen is a writer of books for children and young adults. She has more than 400 short stories published, including award-winning pieces in Highlights for Children. One of her stories was reprinted in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II (1998). Through her writing, she is interested in trying to influence young people to think about social issues, particularly those of peace and justice. As a child in the '60s, she was greatly affected by the Vietnam War, but Hold On Tight is a fictional account. Klassen says that Suzanne’s voice “just came to me. It was easy to let her tell her story, influenced so much by the love she had for her older brother.”

Klassen has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in child development. She is an instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature. She is married with two grown children and lives in Lynnwood, Washington. 

Review:

"This is a beautiful, moving novella with a great deal of meaning.... Klassen writes with a lyrical, almost stream-of-consciousness style that is unique in children’s books these days. I read the first two chapters with my seven-year-old at bedtime, and he loved it so much that he woke up early the next morning to finish it on his own. Kudos to Royal Fireworks for publishing this. They took a risk on a story worth telling." – parent 

It’s the 1960s, a time when America and families were being torn apart by the Vietnam War. When Suzanne’s older brother Bobby is drafted, Suzanne’s mother wants them all to move to Canada, but he enlists to fight. Suzanne and her mother join the protesters against the war, but Suzanne’s father thinks that patriotic Americans should support the war the way they did when he fought in World War II. The divisions in the family reflect the divisions in the country when differences about the war played a major part in fomenting hostile confrontations throughout the land.

Against a background of box hockey games, the first landing on the moon, and the music of Bob Dylan, Suzanne not only has to contend with missing her brother, she also must see her mother’s pain and watch her parents grow distant from each other amidst their resentment. She also has to decide where she herself stands on the issues, to cope with the consequences, and to deal with her brother's ultimate fate.

This novel provides vivid insights into the era and into the disagreements that defined a decade that brought tragedy to so many.

Author Heather Klassen is a writer of books for children and young adults. She has more than 400 short stories published, including award-winning pieces in Highlights for Children. One of her stories was reprinted in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II (1998). Through her writing, she is interested in trying to influence young people to think about social issues, particularly those of peace and justice. As a child in the '60s, she was greatly affected by the Vietnam War, but Hold On Tight is a fictional account. Klassen says that Suzanne’s voice “just came to me. It was easy to let her tell her story, influenced so much by the love she had for her older brother.”

Klassen has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in child development. She is an instructor for the Institute of Children’s Literature. She is married with two grown children and lives in Lynnwood, Washington. 

Review:

"This is a beautiful, moving novella with a great deal of meaning.... Klassen writes with a lyrical, almost stream-of-consciousness style that is unique in children’s books these days. I read the first two chapters with my seven-year-old at bedtime, and he loved it so much that he woke up early the next morning to finish it on his own. Kudos to Royal Fireworks for publishing this. They took a risk on a story worth telling." – parent

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