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JUST LOVED READING: Audacity Jones to the Rescue

JUST LOVED READING: Audacity Jones to the Rescue

Just Loved Reading:

Audacity Jones to the Rescue

Middle Grade/Historical Fiction

Larson, Kirby, Audacity Jones to the Rescue. New York: Scholastic Press, 2016.

Set at the turn of the 20th century, Audacity Jones to the Rescue is about a spunky, inquisitive, smart 11 year-old orphan. When her parents died at sea, went to live at Miss Maisie’s School for Wayward Girls in Swayze, Indiana. She was 6. Audacity is the one the other girls depend on for guidance and support. She is also the one who is sent to the Punishment Room daily. She looks forward to the Punishment Room because it is the library and Audacity loves to read. Her favorite books are novels about swashbucklers, pirates and other adventure heroes but she also loves books about science and geography.

When Commodore Critchfield comes to the school to visit and ask for a volunteer for a secret mission, Audacity jumps at the chance. The  Commodore was once well-to-do donor who is (secretly) down on his luck. Audacity slowly comes to learn about the Commodores’ nefarious scheme and with help from her friends, plots to stop him and his accomplices.


Audacity is a lovable character whose positive attitude propels the story. She doesn’t feel sorry for herself and boosts the morale of the other girls in the orphanage. She makes friends easily. Audacity looks at life as an adventure – an attitude that takes her to Washington DC, inside the White House, and almost gets her into trouble. The reader will root for her as she finds a way to thwart the Commodore’s evil plan (based on true events). The author does a good job of invoking the culture, fashion and other customs of the era and throughout the novel, the reader will feel that they are living in the first half of the last century.

Audacity Jones lived during the presidency of William Howard Taft. Click on the link below learn more about him and his presidency:




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JUST LOVED READING: The School The Aztec Eagles Built

JUST LOVED READING: The School The Aztec Eagles Built



The School the Aztec Eagles Built

Non-Fiction/Middle Grade

Nicholson, Dorinda Makanaohalani. The School the Aztec Eagles Built. New York: Lee and Low Books, 2016.

            Relations between Mexico and the US were not always cordial especially when they fought over what were once Mexico’s northern territories. In 1835, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. This led to the US – Mexican War which lasted from 1846 to 1848. When it ended, Mexico lost Texas, Nevada, California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Wyoming and Colorado.

On May 13 and 22, 1942, German U-boats torpedoed two unarmed Mexican oil tankers off the Florida coast. Germany refused to apologize for the aggression and Mexico declared war on the Axis powers, Germany, Italy and Japan. Mexico had a small military and had never fought another country overseas.

US President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Mexican President Manuel Avila Comacho met to discuss how the two countries could help each other. By this time, Japan had attacked the US at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The result of these discussions was the formation of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force. The flight operations unit was known as Air Fighter Squadron 201 or the Aztec Eagles.

The Squadron consisted of pilots and ground crew who took care of the airplanes. They trained initially in Idaho and then in Texas where they encountered prejudice from the locals and distrust from the American air pilots with whom they were going to work. Eventually, the American and Mexican pilots forged a mutual respect. The Squadron flew missions from the Philippines which ended when the US dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. When the pilots and crew returned home, they were hailed as heroes and decorated veterans.

Angel Bocanegra was a school teacher in his village of Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico. Tepoztlan had a small two room schoolhouse that could barely hold a couple of the grades. Many of the children formed classrooms on neighbors’ porches, on the grass and anywhere there was space to sit and learn.

Bocanegra enlisted as one of the Squadron’s ground crew. President Comacho reviewed the men before they left for the US and asked if anyone had any requests. Bocanegra shouted out that he had a request for a schoolhouse for his village. President Comacho agreed.

When Angel Bocanegra returned to his village, he saw a brand new building named Escuela Escuadron 210.


This book narrated the little known story of the Aztec Eagles, Squadron 210 of the Mexican Air Force and how World War II helped to establish goodwill between the US and Mexico. The footnote about Angel Bocanegra was interesting, too. But the book also narrates an account of the Bracero Program brokered by President Roosevelt and President Comacho. The program allowed Mexican workers to enter the US on temporary work permits. So from 1943 to 1945, over 100, 000 laborers worked on farms and railroads. This helped to plug the hole in the work force left by enlisted soldiers and sailors and was another way Mexico, with its small military, could help with the war effort.

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