The Forty-Third War

( 1 )


A twelve-year-old boy learns about death and the conflicts that grip his Central American country when he's pressed into military service and trained as a soldier.

Twelve-year-old Uno is conscripted into the army of a revolutionary force in a Central American country that is fighting for its freedom.

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A twelve-year-old boy learns about death and the conflicts that grip his Central American country when he's pressed into military service and trained as a soldier.

Twelve-year-old Uno is conscripted into the army of a revolutionary force in a Central American country that is fighting for its freedom.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In constructing her story, Moeri faced a formidable challenge: how to look at a war that uses children for fodder and make it comprehensible, even reasonable, without glorifying its existence or rendering her story completely hopeless. She succeeds, portraying complicated emotions in terms children can understand." Booklist, ALA
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
At 12, Uno is the only remaining male in his Central American family when he is conscripted by the rebel army. The current conflict, the 43rd war in the history of Uno's unnamed country, has killed or taken all other available men from his village, and Uno has been dreading the day he is found and pressed into service. Without him, how will his mother and sisters survive? The rebel forces, who seem initially to be kidnappers, reveal themselves quickly as the better side: the loyalists are well-equipped bullies who serve the corrupt upper class, while the rebels are decent, if desperate. Readers follow Uno for eight harrowing days, through training and battle, until the war ends. Although the novel begins slowly, Uno's adventure, once it has begun, outweighs the author's conscientious message about Central America. Ending on a note of optimism, Moeri ( Star Mother's Youngest Child ) has created a moving, solid novel on a very timely subject. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 7-9-- This story of a 12-year-old boy involuntarily conscripted into rebel forces in a fictitious Central American country is a piece of political fiction highly suitable for adjunct classroom reading in a curriculum focusing on the history of that area; contemporary issues; or questions of freedom, impending adulthood, and national priorities/patriotism. Uno, his cousin, and his friend are taken from their village by the revolutionary forces, leaving behind their families, security, and innocence. They are taught to ambush, loot, survive in the jungles, and kill. But they are also taught a new awareness of their country's problems, loyalty to their fellow soldiers, and a premature passion for life and its treasures. There are no neat answers, no pat solutions here. Moeri has skillfully tackled a subject, however, that may not have a wide appeal to young adult readers. Essential coverage of military drills, strategies, and artillery become dry reading. A fine discussion book, and certainly a first purchase in areas of high refugee populations from South America. --Catherine vanSonnenberg, LaJolla Country Day School, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395669556
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 210
  • Sales rank: 1,057,620
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 940L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Louise Moeri is the author of many books for young readers, but Star Mother's Youngest Child was her first. She lives in California.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2002

    A touching, solid novel with great histoircal detail and accuracy.

    The Forty-Third War by Louise Moeri is a historical fiction novel about the ongoing polilical turmoil in Central America. This novel is set around one of the revlolutions that took place in the rugid jungles. A young boy, Uno, is forced to fight in the war for the revolutionaries. Through out this story Uno is faced with many hard decisions and hesitates to take action. If you are looking for a book with great war excitement this book is not for you. This book had some fighting, but mainly expressed how Uno was faced with many problems of soldiering in Central America. Overall I rather enjoyed this book despite the fact that it moved along quite slowly. On a scale from one to ten, I would have to give this book a six due to the lack of excitement and specificity of the setting. I would recommend this book to someone who is doing a project for school, or poeple who have a lot of spare time. It is well to written and keeps the reader interested for the most part.

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