It's 1941 and Bird dreams of flying a P-40 Warhawk. She has dreams and her wonderful father encourages her until he joins the military and goes off to fight after the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor. Bird is left on the ground with her prickly sister Margaret, her goofy brother, Alvin, and the class bully who picks on her, Farley Peck.
This is Rhode Island as World War II is breaking out and it's a time of mistrust and fear. A new boy has joined Bird's class at school. His name is Kenji and he's Japanese which makes him instant bait for Farley and his bullying posse. Bird and Kenji become friends when Bird rescues him from Farley. Out on the water in a small boat the kids think they have bumped into a monster named Genny. To their shock the monster turns into a submarine but when they try to tell the adults no one pays them any attention.
Determined they set out to take a picture of the submarine at night and their adventure leads them into danger. Who is out there in that submarine and why are they lurking there? Is there a real spy in their town? It will take all the gumption Bird owns to do the right thing, be true to her friend and dare to stand between an assassin and the President of the United States. A great adventure with the rare girl heroine. Unexpected turns along with sensitivity to those who are different from ourselves create a meaningful, entertaining read. Ages 8-12 212 pages