The Fragile Flag (Hall Family Chronicles #5)

ISBN: 0064403114
ISBN 13: 9780064403115
By: Jane Langton

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Childhood Childrens Fantasy Fiction Kids Middle Grade Series To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

Everything depends on them....When Georgie Hall decides to walk from Concord, Massachusetts, to Washington, D.C., with a letter to the President and an old flag capable of producing magical visions, no one doubts that she has the will or ability to do it. Along with her stepcousins Eleanor and Eddy, Georgie begins the Children's Crusade to stop the President from building a globally fatal nuclear bomb, known as the Peace Missile. But 450 miles is a long way to walk, and even as the Crusade picks up members along the way, its marchers can't help but wonder if their actions will make a difference, or if it is already too late....

Reader's Thoughts


The kids from The Diamond in the Window (and later books) march to Washington, trying to convince the President not to launch a nuclear missle. As an adult I can see that this book is quite heavy-handed in its anti-nuclear-war message, but as a kid I didn't notice, except to feel a little guilty that I didn't care about nuclear war nearly as much as these kids (I think I was born a little too late). I love the characters, and the descriptions of walking and camping. It's interesting to watch the crusade evolve from a handful of friends into thousands of other kids.The tone is dramatically different from The Diamond in the Window and the two following--these are modern kids (mid 1980s), instead of vaguely old-fashioned kids (my impression is that Eleanor and Eddy seemed a little old-fashioned even when those books were new, though I could be wrong). Eddy and Georgie are more believable to me as being the same kids as early in the series than Eleanor is.I reread this for the first time in ages and was absolutely astonished by how much the fictional administration and political climate resembled the current situation.


Social activism as children march to Washington DC to read Georgia's letter about what her flag means to her and to stop the President's "peace missile" project.


A really fun read with memorable characters. Once I read the synopses of the other books in the Hall series, it all made sense. The author writes FABLES that take place in modern times with modern characters. But there is magic afoot and until I realized that I was wondering what the hell kind of book featured a mom dropping her baby and child off on the side of the road to join in a 6 week march of unsupervised children. Turns out it's a great book with a solid message and the amazing character of Freida who is my new hero-person.


This was possibly the most complex and interesting of the Hall family books. In the near future, the president of the United States not only decides to change the flag (making it more flashy, with gold accents!) but is also on the verge of a starting a nuclear attack. Georgie and the other kids take up an old flag they find at home and march to Washington in protest. Along the way they gather child after child, and what starts as Georgie being determined ends up being a New Childrens' Crusade.


Heavy-handed and goofy in equal measures, this book manages to rise above its flaws and tell a story that, while far-fetched, would have been balm to my troubled soul as a pre-teen. It's a message book whose time has, one fervently hopes, passed- though President Toby seemed far too similar to another four-letter-name president in both thought and deed. I would have liked it better had I read it earlier, and though I'm glad I read it, it'll never be on my favorites shelf.

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