By Alan Gratz
Publisher: Scholastic Press Copyright Year: 2018 ISBN/ISSN: 9781338245691
Alan Gratz continues to tackle historical fiction topics in this story based on the Battle of Okinawa during World War II. The story of the bloody battle is told by two narrators in alternating chapters: Hideki is an Okinawan boy recruited to fight for the Japanese in the Blood and Iron Student Corps, while Ray is a young Marine whose orders are to take the island and push back the Japanese. The story immediately grabs the reader's attention when Hideki is given two grenades and told to kill Americans with one and, after that is done, to use the second grenade on himself. Gratz makes the story as accurate as possible, including terminology commonly used during the time periods—he notifies the reader about this fact both before the book begins and in the author notes included at the end of the book. The book illustrates the horrors of war and the narrators' dual realization that the enemy is a person, too. This is a sad and compelling story that sheds some light on a battle that is rarely mentioned in books written for juvenile readers.
Reviewer: Valerie Jankowski
Rating: Highly Recommended
Grade (as stated by Reviewer/SLC): 6-12
Review Date: January 1, 2019
It's 1945, and the world is in the grip of war.
Hideki lives 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. 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 when the two of them collide in the middle of the battle, the choices they make in that instant will change everything.
From the acclaimed author of Refugee comes this high-octane story of how fear can tear us apart, and how hope can tie us back together.
Media Type Book, eBook
# Pages 288
Grade (as stated by Reviewer/SLC) 6-12
Sub-Genre Historical Fiction
Content Subject 1 Military History
Content Subject 2 Wilderness & Survival
Time Period 20th century
Story: Action Packed
Entry ID: 2184689