Deborah Hopkinson

Award Winning Author of Fiction & Nonfiction for Children & Teens

Knit Your Bit

A World War I Story

Knit Your Bit

What is this book about?

Mikey’s dad has left home to fight over­seas dur­ing World War I, and Mikey wants to do some­thing BIG to help. When his teacher sug­gests that the class par­tic­i­pate in a knit­ting bee in Cen­tral Park to knit cloth­ing for the troops, Mikey and his friends roll their eyes—knitting is for girls! But when the girls turn it into a com­pe­ti­tion, the boys just have to meet the challenge.

Based on a real “Knit-In” event at Cen­tral Park in 1918, Knit Your Bit shows read­ers that mak­ing a last­ing con­tri­bu­tion is as easy as try­ing some­thing new! 

illustration from Knit Your Bit
illus­tra­tion from Knit Your Bit, illus­tra­tion © Steven Guar­nac­cia.
Book writ­ten by Deb­o­rah Hop­kin­son, pub­lished by G. Put­nam’s Sons, 2013.


“The bright telling is right at a kid’s lev­el and cap­tures both the speci­fici­ty of the time and uni­ver­sal­i­ty of human inter­ac­tions. The author’s note (bol­stered by an image of a con­tem­po­ra­ne­ous poster) puts the fic­tion in sol­id his­tor­i­cal con­text. Guar­nac­cia has cho­sen to illus­trate in a style rem­i­nis­cent of old­time Sun­day fun­nies, per­fect for the sto­ry. Over­size and set on white back­grounds, the pic­tures keep the focus on the ami­able char­ac­ters. … A ter­rif­ic yarn.” (Book­list)

“Hop­kin­son again grace­ful­ly mines his­to­ry with this sto­ry high­light­ing a patri­ot­ic civil­ian ini­tia­tive dur­ing WWI … Hop­kin­son brings the cause into the present, sug­gest­ing resources for infor­ma­tion about cur­rent knit­ting efforts for sol­diers and vet­er­ans. An enlight­en­ing piece of his­tor­i­cal fic­tion that dri­ves home the idea that every lit­tle bit helps.” (Pub­lish­ers Week­ly)

“Hopkinson’s text is snap­py and engag­ing and her dia­logue has just enough peri­od fla­vor to be authen­tic while still res­onat­ing with mod­ern kids … Guarnaccia’s pen-and-ink and water­col­or illus­tra­tions use mut­ed tones and Lois Lens­ki-esque fig­ures to suc­cess­ful­ly con­jure a peri­od look, and blond Mikey is a rud­dy-cheeked, knicker­bock­ered all-Amer­i­can boy of the nine­teen-teens.” (Bul­letin of the Cen­ter for Chil­dren’s Books)

“As in pre­vi­ous titles, Hop­kin­son was inspired by an actu­al event, cre­at­ing a fast-paced nar­ra­tive sure to appeal to chil­dren today. E‑communication has long out­stripped snail mail, but the lone­li­ness and the wor­ry of fam­i­lies left behind will still res­onate. Guarnaccia’s pen-and-ink–and-watercolor illus­tra­tions nice­ly evoke the fash­ions of the time peri­od. Lib­er­al use of white space focus­es atten­tion on the chil­dren … A fine entry in com­mem­o­ra­tion of the upcom­ing cen­ten­ni­al of World War I.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Hop­kin­son pro­vides read­ers with a glimpse into life on the World War I home front. … The illus­tra­tions’ mut­ed hues, heavy on olive and kha­ki, indi­cate times past, but Guar­nac­cia also cap­i­tal­izes on white space, giv­ing read­ers room to con­sid­er the times and themes pre­sent­ed here. Hopkinson’s append­ed author’s note pro­vides more infor­ma­tion about WWI and brings the war-relief effort into the twen­ty-first cen­tu­ry, not­ing places that today accept knit­ted items for sol­diers.” (The Horn Book)

Knit Your Bit

author, Deb­o­rah Hop­kin­son
illus­tra­tor, Steven Guar­nac­cia
G.P. Put­nam’s Sons
ages 5 and up, 2013
ISBN 978–0399252419

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