FICTION

Tin Soldier

264p. (The Seven Sequels). ebook available. Orca. Oct. 2014. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459805460; ebk. $10.95. ISBN 9781459805484.
COPY ISBN
Gr 7 Up—After stumbling on a cache containing fake passports, foreign currencies, and a gun, Jim Webb throws himself into a mission to redeem the legacy of his late grandfather, David McLean, a Canadian Vietnam War veteran who may have been involved in a sordid scheme involving forged identities and stolen jewels. He crisscrosses the American South with black veteran Lee Knox, following leads, but someone in a powerful position is bent on stopping them at any cost. Action drives the story, but it coheres in the contentious yet warm banter between Webb and Knox. Brouwer peppers the text with references to Canadian culture, especially the Canadian Football League. Webb's background allows him to blend in as an American and to maintain an outsider's perspective, leaving opportunities for Lee to teach him about American racism and the wounded history of Vietnam without seeming overly didactic. Brouwer confidently lays out the moral complexity of the war itself and unflinchingly confronts the history—and present—of racial prejudice. There are some rough spots. A long section beginning at CIA headquarters and ending in the office of a corrupt congressman stretches credulity, though it never quite crosses into farce. This is part of a second series (Orca, 2012) about McLean's seven grandsons and the missions laid out for them in his peculiar will, but it can stand alone. A good choice for older reluctant readers or students interested in recent history. (Ed. note: Annotations for the other books in this series are included on p. 156.)—Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VA

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.