The Art of Keeping Cool
Newberry Honor Award Winner Janet Taylor Lisle drew from three sources of inspiration when writing The Art of Keeping Cool. Her fascination with her father's service as a bomber pilot in the Royal Air Force, the U.S. army occupation of her home town during WWII, and the far-reaching cultural impact of the Nazi regime.
The Art of Keeping Cool deals with the difficulties of childhood during WWII. in 1942, making sense of his family is especially difficult for thirteen-year-old Robert, whose father has been deployed in Europe with the Royal Canadian Air Force for more than six months. After Pearl Harbor, Robert and his family moved from their farm in Ohio to live with his father's parents in Rhode Island.
This living situation is strange to Robert, who has never met his grandparents or his cousin Elliot who also lives in Rhode Island. He finds it even more odd that neither his mother or his extended family ever discuss his father. Robert must search to find reason for the unexplainable family dynamic. With the help of Elliot and an exiled German painter named Abel Hoffman, Robert uncovers with the dark history of his father's family.
After a little time Elliot starts going to Abel Hoffman's house to sketch.One day when Elliot didn't go to Abel's Robert asks why.Elliot said Abel was beat up by some people just because he was German.
- Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, winner, 2001
- Riverbank Review Book of Distinction, winner, 2001
- ALA Notable Children's Book
- Horn Book Fanfare
- Junior Library Guild Selection
- Scholastic Book Club Selection