PW starred A Boy at War: A Novel of Pearl Harbor, saying, "Mazer successfully fuses a strong portrayal of Adam's transformation with both a vivid account of the attack and subtle suggestions of the complexities of Japanese-American relations as played out in particular lives." Harry Mazer continued Adam Pelko's story in A Boy No More, and now concludes with Heroes Don't Run: A Novel of the Pacific War, in which Adam, now 17, enlists in the Marines in 1944 to face combat on Okinawa. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
At seventeen, Adam Pelko should be preparing for his senior year of high school. World War II is raging, however, and the young man is determined to join the Marines-with or without his mother's permission. Adam's father died during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and his mother refuses to let her son enlist. Unfazed Adam persuades his mother to allow him to finish his last year of high school in New York State with his grandfather, a World War I veteran. Shortly after arriving in New York, Adam convinces Grandpa to sign papers allowing him to join the Marines, where he is sent to Okinawa, site of some of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific War. During an intense firefight, Adam's life is saved when his platoon leader sacrifices himself to shield Adam during a mortar attack. Mazer creates vivid descriptions of the final year of World War II, from boot camp and battles to Adam's recovery from his injuries and his difficulties readjusting to civilian life after the war ends. Adam's experiences, written in short chapters and letters to family and friends, describe a young man who wrestles with being called a hero when other soldiers did not return home alive. Younger readers interested in World War II stories will find Mazer's book to be a compelling conclusion to A Boy No More (Simon & Schuster, 2004) and a fitting companion to the author's critically acclaimed The Last Mission (Delacorte, 1979) Librarians willing to push this title should see fruit for their labors. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2005, Simon & Schuster, 128p., Ages11 to 15.
Gr 5-9-In this final entry in a trilogy about a boy coming of age during World War II, Mazer shows how his hero handles actual military service. The book brings a sense of completion to Adam Pelko's story, which began in Honolulu just before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Determined to fight as a Marine, Adam, now 17, talks his grandfather into letting him enlist, although he knows his mother will be furious. Boot camp, with its indignities and hardships, is vividly portrayed, and when Adam arrives in the Pacific arena as a full-fledged soldier, Mazer does a good job of depicting the mind-numbing slog of war. More realistic than many novels about combat for this audience, violence is present without being glorified or unrealistically softened. Adam's first-person narrative brings immediacy to his experiences, but most of the other soldiers and civilians lack focus. Characters who were important in previous titles stay mostly offstage, making it possible to appreciate this offering without reading the others. A historical note covers the basic facts for those wanting to know more. A quick, action-packed read.-Carol A. Edwards, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
The battle for Okinawa, in 1945, was the last major battle of WWII, and Adam Pelko enlisted just in time to be there. His father had died at Pearl Harbor and Adam hopes to honor him by fighting admirably. But the war is horrible, and Adam comes to know war, death and injury for the first time, returning home a changed man. It's a familiar story, told here in telegraphic, first-person prose, strong on plot but short on character development, perfect for the reluctant or inexperienced reader. The historical note is the best part of this volume, full of interesting details about the battle and the end of the war. Timed to coincide with the anniversaries of V-J Day and the end of WWII, this conclusion to the trilogy begun with A Boy at War: A Novel of Pearl Harbor (2001) and A Boy No More (2004) will attract young history enthusiasts and be valuable in school units on the war. (Fiction. 9-14)