Here it is! The hugely anticipated follow-up to Gratz's NYT bestselling, critically acclaimed phenomenon REFUGEE. This is another searing and heart-pounding look at kids making their way through war. It's 1945, and the world is in the grip of war.
Hideki lives with his family on the island of Okinawa, near Japan. When WWII crashes onto his shores, Hideki is drafted into the Blood and Iron Student Corps to fight for the Japanese army. He is handed a grenade and a set of instructions: Don't come back until you've killed an American soldier.
Ray, a young American Marine, has just landed on Okinawa. This is Ray's first-ever battle, and he doesn't know what to expect -- or if he'll make it out alive. He just knows that the enemy is everywhere.
Hideki and Ray each fight their way across the island, surviving heart-pounding ambushes and dangerous traps. But then the two of them collide in the middle of the battle...
And choices they make in that single instant will change everything.
Alan Gratz, New York Times bestselling author of Refugee, returns with this high-octane story of how fear and war tear us apart, but how hope and redemption tie us together.
Alan Gratz is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for young readers, including Grenade; Refugee; Projekt 1065, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2016; Prisoner B-3087, a Junior Library Guild selection that was named to YALSA's 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list; and Code of Honor, a YALSA 2016 Quick Pick. Alan lives in North Carolina with his wife and daughter. Look for him online at alangratz.com.
Read an Excerpt
Grenade in one hand, rubber striking cap in the other, he took a deep breath and ducked into the bushes at the top of the hill. He crept forward until he could see over the ridge.
The dirt path below him was lined with American vehicles. Gray trucks filled with soldiers. Enormous clanking green things with cannons on top and treads for wheels. Open-topped jeeps pulling giant guns on trailers. There were scores of them. They kept coming around the bend in the road. And kept coming and coming.
Hideki ducked deeper into the thicket, afraid they would see him. His hands shook. How was this possible? How had the American devils been able to get so many vehicles past the Japanese defenses? Hideki had seen more automobiles on that road in five minutes than there had been in all of Okinawa before the war.
Hideki's shaking fear crystallized into a hard knot in his stomach, and he knew what he had to do. He had to take out one of those trucks with a grenade. This was his moment. This was his fate. He stood up, fully exposed if any of the soldiers in the trucks had bothered to look up at him, and got ready to strike the match-like fuse on his grenade.
For the Emperor, Hideki told himself. For Japan. For my family.
Hands grabbed Hideki and pulled him back into the bushes before he could activate his grenade. Hideki turned around. It was Yoshio!
"What are you doing?!" Hideki cried.
"The Americans -- they're close by!" Yoshio told him.
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