Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kidsby Kenzaburo Oe
Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids recounts the exploits of fifteen teenage reformatory boys evacuated to a remote mountain village in wartime, where they are feared and detesed by the local peasants. When plague breaks out, the villagers flee, blockading the boys inside the deserted town. Their brief attempt to build autonomous lives of self-respect, love, and tribal valor is doomed in the face of death and the adult nightmare of war.
- Picador USA
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This novel was a selection for a senior World Literature class that I taught. I did not select the novel. It was disturbing for me to read, and the 12th graders had a difficult time dealing with some of the images. Once they surmounted the graphic descriptions, they were able to understand the reason Oe wrote this book. I personally became tired of the continual references to things adolescent boys do to try and shock one another. The message of the story is gripping, and will make one aware of some of the 'other side' to WWII.