I'm Still Scared is a biographical look at Tomie dePaola's growing up years in Meriden, Connecticut. This book opens right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Tomie, a 2nd grader, is scared. He hears the grownups talking, he hears the President's address on the radio, and he practices air raid drills at school. Everyone tells him that everything is alright, but he's still scared.
This book reads like fiction, but is based on Tomie's real-life experiences, and includes such real details of the war that children wouldn't otherwise know, like nylon hosery being unavailable because nylon was used for parachutes and blackout curtains being used to protect the house. It eerily parallels what today's children have had to deal with, both with the bombing of the World Trade Center five years ago, as well as children dealing today with fathers, brothers and uncles going off to serve in the war in Iraq.
This book is an easy chapter book. Even though it was an easy read for eight-year-old Amanda, the subject captivated her and she immediately looked for more chapter books by typically picture book star Tomie dePaola. She's in luck, because this book is the 6th in the series about 26 Fairmont Avenue, so I know that she will be reading others as she finds them.
I would recommend this book as a read-aloud for ages six and up and as a read-alone for any child who can read easy chapter books up to age ten or so.