Book - 2018 | First edition
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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.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2018
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781338245691 (hardcover)
1338245694 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: Y GRATZ
Characteristics: 270 pages : map ; 22 cm


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Nov 27, 2018

This may very well be the grittiest middle grade novel I've read in my life, or at least since I've been past middle grade age. And even if you've also grown past the young readers this novel targets, don't mistake it for a juvenile storybook or something.

This isn't a nostalgic, romantic, or watered-down tale, to make war look like a grand and glorious adventure, merely a mechanism for building heroes. It's a gut-wrenching, violent, tragic story of the impossible costs of deadly conflict. While it's not gratuitous in its horror, like a book that would give me nightmares, this novel makes no bones about conveying that war is just that.

A nightmare. A waking one.

And yet, it isn't a dark story for the sake of darkness. It's a human story. A nuanced story. A story that might make your soul cry. Hideki's and Ray's experiences and reflections reach to a critical level past the surface of things, as this isn't a journey of easy, surface answers.

The ending of Part One is painfully brilliant, and how the sober, overall ending manages to be triumphant is incredible.

Read it. If your soul cries, let it. Oh—and after the last scene, do *not* skip the Author's Note.

Nov 24, 2018

i really like this guys other books and this one was kinda disappointing. its mainly just action. if you didn't like it try Projekt 1065, also by Mr. Gratz

OPL_KrisC Oct 24, 2018

An engaging and powerful historical book about WWII and the Battle of Okinawa. Full of lots of emotion and tense situations. The author's note at the end is a great addition and filled with lots of interesting facts.


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Jan 03, 2019

violet_panda_53 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

OPL_KrisC Oct 24, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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