Forget-Me-Not – Barbara Haworth-Attard

Roberta Harrison is navigating the shoals of teenage life in 1945. Her family has been touched by WWII in a variety of ways. Roberta is confused by the mixed feelings she has about German and Japanese people – her hatred for the evils of Hitler’s regime but her sympathy for a German POW, her stance against the Japanese but her feelings of remorse for the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The story written as a diary moves between the mundane and ordinariness of a young girl’s life and the extraordinary events in world history of 1945.

Thematic ties – family, WWII, change, coming of age, friendship

Haworth-Attard captures the sensibility of the era. It reminds me of the way my grandmother used to talk about her own young adult life. Like Roberta, my grandmother was the youngest in a large family. My grandmother would be slightly older than the protagonist but snap shots from her photo album and the inscriptions on the back speak to similar cares and worries.



Filed under children's lit, curriculum, library, literacy

2 responses to “Forget-Me-Not – Barbara Haworth-Attard

  1. Debbie Pushor

    What age group would you use this novel with, Susan? How would you use it in a classroom? If you were to use it for literature circles, what other novel choices might you lay alongside it?

  2. The book would probably suit grade 7 and up using reading level and age of protagonist as a rough guide. I would have to see the possibilities for link to Social Studies curriculum for classroom use. Grade 11 History has a WWII component, it might work there. “My Name is Seepeetza” might be an interesting contrast to lay alongside. It also has a diary form and a similar time period in a residential school. Another that might work is “Across the Steel River” which highlights the return of First Nation veterans.

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