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Tucky Jo and Little Heart



by
Patricia Polacco

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Simon & Schuster
Imprint
Paula Wiseman
ISBN
9781481415842

Awards and Honors
2016 Winner, Notable Books for a Global Society
2016 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, K–2
ILA Teachers’ Choices, 2016 Reading List
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War
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In a story based on real events, a World War II veteran recalls a little girl he befriended while fighting in the Philippines, and how their incredible bond affected their lives. Author’s note. Epilogue. Full-color illustrations rendered in pencils and acetone markers.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
Violence: War/Harsh Realities of War

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

48

Trim Size

9" x 11"

AR

4.6: points 0.5

Lexile

AD670L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

2

JLG Release

Jan 2016

Book Genres


Topics

Soldiers. Kindness. World War II (1939-1945). The Philippines. Japanese occupation of the Philippines, 1942-1945.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, The Horn Book Guide, Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

In Polacco’s latest picture book based on true events, Johnnie Wallen is only 15 years old when he leaves his backwoods Kentucky home to join the army after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In spite of his youth, Johnnie’s accuracy with a rifle earns him the respect of the other soldiers and many dangerous missions. Arriving with his unit in the Philippines, he is tired of fighting and of the hot, steamy jungle. He happens upon a little Filipino girl who shows him how to soothe his bug bites using local plants. Unable to pronounce “Kentucky Johnnie,” she calls him “Tucky Jo.” He calls her Little Heart, after the birthmark on her arm. In time, Johnnie meets the villagers and his fellow soldiers share their rations with them. When the soldiers receive news that the area is to be firebombed, Johnnie sees to it that the villagers are evacuated when the troops leave. After World War II ends, Johnnie marries his childhood sweetheart. Sixty-five years later, he is patriarch to a large family but his health is failing. In an amazing—yet true— turn of events, he is found by Little Heart. Now a nurse, she happily repays Tucky Jo’s kindness. Polacco echoes her main character’s Kentucky dialect in the longish text, making the book more suitable for reading aloud to younger children. Spreads done in her signature style with colored pencils and markers portray the weary determination of the soldiers, Little Heart’s emotions, and wartime conditions. The final reunion picture is poignant and memorable. VERDICT This beautifully crafted work is a testament to human kindness.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

In Polacco’s latest picture book based on true events, Johnnie Wallen is only 15 years old when he leaves his backwoods Kentucky home to join the army after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In spite of his youth, Johnnie’s accuracy with a rifle earns him the respect of the other soldiers and many dangerous missions. Arriving with his unit in the Philippines, he is tired of fighting and of the hot, steamy jungle. He happens upon a little Filipino girl who shows him how to soothe his bug bites using local plants. Unable to pronounce “Kentucky Johnnie,” she calls him “Tucky Jo.” He calls her Little Heart, after the birthmark on her arm. In time, Johnnie meets the villagers and his fellow soldiers share their rations with them. When the soldiers receive news that the area is to be firebombed, Johnnie sees to it that the villagers are evacuated when the troops leave. After World War II ends, Johnnie marries his childhood sweetheart. Sixty-five years later, he is patriarch to a large family but his health is failing. In an amazing—yet true— turn of events, he is found by Little Heart. Now a nurse, she happily repays Tucky Jo’s kindness. Polacco echoes her main character’s Kentucky dialect in the longish text, making the book more suitable for reading aloud to younger children. Spreads done in her signature style with colored pencils and markers portray the weary determination of the soldiers, Little Heart’s emotions, and wartime conditions. The final reunion picture is poignant and memorable. VERDICT This beautifully crafted work is a testament to human kindness.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT

Grades 2-4
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