Book - 2018
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On April 1, 1945 with the battle of Okinawa beginning, fourteen-year-old native Okinawan Hideki, drafted into the Blood and Iron Student Corps, is handed two grenades and told to go kill American soldiers; small for his age Hideki does not really want to kill anyone, he just wants to find his family, and his struggle across the island will finally bring him face-to-face with Ray, a marine in his very first battle--and the choice he makes then will change his life forever.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2018.
ISBN: 9781338245691
Characteristics: 270 pages ;,22 cm.


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Nov 27, 2018

This may very well be the grittiest middle grade novel I've read in my life, or at least since I've been past middle grade age. And even if you've also grown past the young readers this novel targets, don't mistake it for a juvenile storybook or something.

This isn't a nostalgic, romantic, or watered-down tale, to make war look like a grand and glorious adventure, merely a mechanism for building heroes. It's a gut-wrenching, violent, tragic story of the impossible costs of deadly conflict. While it's not gratuitous in its horror, like a book that would give me nightmares, this novel makes no bones about conveying that war is just that.

A nightmare. A waking one.

And yet, it isn't a dark story for the sake of darkness. It's a human story. A nuanced story. A story that might make your soul cry. Hideki's and Ray's experiences and reflections reach to a critical level past the surface of things, as this isn't a journey of easy, surface answers.

The ending of Part One is painfully brilliant, and how the sober, overall ending manages to be triumphant is incredible.

Read it. If your soul cries, let it. Oh—and after the last scene, do *not* skip the Author's Note.

Nov 24, 2018

i really like this guys other books and this one was kinda disappointing. its mainly just action. if you didn't like it try Projekt 1065, also by Mr. Gratz

OPL_KrisC Oct 24, 2018

An engaging and powerful historical book about WWII and the Battle of Okinawa. Full of lots of emotion and tense situations. The author's note at the end is a great addition and filled with lots of interesting facts.

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Jan 03, 2019

violet_panda_53 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

OPL_KrisC Oct 24, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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