Prisoner of War: A Novel of World War II

272p. Scholastic. Jun. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545857833.
Gr 7 Up—Fifteen-year-old Henry Forrest lost his mother when he was seven. Since then, even Henry's grandfather can't convince Henry's father to stop beating the teen. The grandfather and Henry sneak off to a Marines recruitment office, where the boy lies about his age. It's 1941, and the United States is about to face its most shocking attack, at Pearl Harbor, and Henry is right in the middle of it. He's been stationed in the Philippines, which has been bombed by Japan. His gunnery sergeant, McAdams, and his good friend Jamison have his back. But Henry's courage and maturity are truly tested when the Japanese capture his regiment and he, his friends, and hundreds of other American soldiers are forced into an internment camp on a tiny island in the Pacific. Henry's temper and his reaction to injustice earn him more than his share of beatings and a reputation. As days turn into months, and then years, the protagonist fights to stay grounded. Full of graphic detail and horrific scenes, this novel neither shies from nor glorifies Henry's story.
VERDICT Sensitive readers may find the portrayal of violence excessive, but the reality of war is realistically presented. An engaging addition to a history of World War II unit as well as a powerful read.

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