The Right Fight

Bk. 1. 192p. (World War II Series). Scholastic. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545522946; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9780545522960.
Gr 8 Up—Lynch ("Vietnam" series, Scholastic) begins a new war series, this time set during World War II. Professional baseball player Roman Bucyk realizes that U.S. involvement in the current European war is imminent and decides to enlist. Roman is sent to the African front, first to Algeria and then to Tunisia, where his mediocre baseball talent takes a backseat to his earnest enthusiasm for fighting against the Nazi regime. An often overlooked portion of the war effort, the Allied battle with the German Afrika Korps is well delivered through a first-person narrative and a series of letters to Hannah, his fiancé. The letters also illustrate how the women at home, like Hannah, did their duty by serving in the Women's Army Corps and other military organizations. Roman's youthful optimism, bravado, and fear allow readers to experience a firsthand look into a soldier's life, from long days waiting for orders to the perilous battle arena. Perhaps most affecting is the portrayal of friendships with Roman's military unit, which help highlight the lifelong bonds fellow soldiers formed during and after this war.—Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI
Roman loves playing semi-professional baseball. Unfortunately, he's not very good. When war breaks out, he volunteers for the army and finds something he can do better than anyone: drive a tank. Here's WWII lite, with fast-paced battle scenes in Northern Africa recalling video-game action. By book's end, however, Lynch has built a lucid, realistic setting for his powerful new war series.

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