Dear America: My Secret War

The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck


This book takes place on the home front of World War II in Long Island New York. this book follows Madeline beck with her mother, and other occupants of Mrs. Hawkin's Mansion-by-the-Sea where they live. In a new school she finds a friend in Johnny Vecchio. They share a common war interest as Madeline's father is a lieutenant. They start the K3F club, or the kids fight for freedom club. All is going well with their club organizing many events to help the war effort, like supply drives, and disaster strikes. Madeline and her mother receive a telegram saying that her father had been reported missing in action, making Madeline face losing her father, and question whether to continue with the K3F club. As Madeline finds it hard to enjoy life and begins running off to the beach in the dead of night and discovers a dangerous secret
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I believe the theme of this book is that it is important to persevere and keep going after major tragedies. Like Madeline beck, many people lost family members or where unsure of their whereabouts during World War II. When Madeline gave up on the war effort when her father was missing in action she started lashing out at people who tried to help her. Her friend Johnny tried to tell her that lots of people lose someone and giving up would cause more missing or dead. But after being inspired by Clara rosenthal, whose father was beaten to death in front of her and has persevered and even thrives after this major tragedy, finding happiness. Madeline starts to accept losing her father. She has persevered and later found out some good news.


I researched operation Pastorius, a nazi sabotage mission. 8 German residents: 2 American citizens, and 6 who had worked jobs in America. They were trained intensely for 3 weeks, and were given fake identities. They landed on amagansett, Long Island in the U-202 submarine. Four saboteurs came to the beach wearing German navy uniforms , and carrying primer, incendiaries, and explosives. They buried these and their uniforms for a 2-year campaign, committing acts of terrorism at U.S. sites important to the war effort. George Dasch and Ernst Burger later betrayed the group out of hate to the nazis, going to the FBI. They were all convicted, Ernst burger getting a lifetime sentence and George Dasch getting a 30 year sentence. They rest were put on death row, executed, and buried.


"Operation Pastorius." - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 12 Dec. 2014. <
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The events connected very between the story and real events. Their were 8 saboteurs in the book and real events. They landed on the Long Island beach in both and buried explosives, primers, incendiaries, and their uniforms. A minor difference is that one man speaks German in the book, but in real events they were taught to converse in English. A major difference is that in the book Madeline turns them in, but they were betrayed in the real events by two of their own members.
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