When the Sergeant Came Marching Home by Don Lemna
Don and Pat are excited when their dad comes home after fighting Nazis for four years. They don't remember much about their dad, but what do they need to know other than the fact he was a soldier? Their lives change though when the Sergeant decides to get a farm in the country. Pat instantly falls in love with country life but Don couldn't be more miserable. He misses the city and his friends and decides to run away. But first he has to save the money to do so, and in the meantime he has little choice but to explore his new home and find something to occupy his time.
This book was recommended to me by some friends who saw my massive pile of WWII stories. They thought I should read a lighter, fun WWII story for a change. I wasn't disappointed. There were points in this book where I couldn't stop laughing. The two best where when the Sergeant decides to build Don and Pat a tree house and where he brings his wife home a washing machine which liked to go for walks.
The adventures Pat and Don get into are a lot of fun. They set out one day to find a friend, met an old hermit who loves to tell stories, and Don gets into spats with his cousin Annie. It's just a fun story of a family learning how to be a family again and adjusting to life after the war.
Don is a fun narrator. In some parts I felt like I was listening to my grandpa tell me a story, but most of the time the story did feel like a little boy telling it. It's the perfect style for this kind of story and it was great getting to see the Sergeant from the eyes of a ten-year-old.
I think this is the kind of story most everyone would enjoy. One of those easy reads which are perfect to enjoy while sitting out in the sunshine. It has a charming, old fashioned feel and plenty of humor.