Review Detail

Kids Fiction 209
Cold War era with Typical Middle Grade Problems
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
THIS IS JUST A TEST takes readers back to the year 1983. It follows David who is both Jewish and Chinese. He's an ordinary kid playing video games with his friends and getting ready for a trivia contest. But with the Cold War kicking up, David finds himself worried about it. After seeing the movie The Day After, David and his friend Scott decide to dig a bomb shelter, just in case.

Even with the fear of a nuclear attack, David still goes through typical middle grade issues. He has a crush named Kelli Ann and seems to fall apart every time he's around her. He also has friends with their own demons they're fighting. THIS IS JUST A TEST brings in normal middle grade problems but with the added effect of the looming Cold War. Fear of bombs mixed in with everyday issues make this story something truly unique.

Growing up with a dad who still lives in the 80s, I enjoyed the references from that time, especially Atari. I love how THIS IS JUST A TEST shows the importance of friendship and exposes readers elements of both Jewish and Chinese culture. David's attitude is refreshing and his humor is welcoming. Readers can easily relate to the characters in this book.


Final Verdict: I would recommend this to fans of historical fiction, friendship, and the 80s era.
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