A Boy at War by Harry Mazer
A Novel of Pearl Harbor

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Synopsis

They rowed hard, away from the battleships and the bombs. Water sprayed over them. The rowboat pitched one way and then the other. Then, before his eyes, the Arizona lifted up out of the water. That enormous battleship bounced up in the air like a rubber ball and split apart. Fire burst out of the ship. A geyser of water shot into the air and came crashing down. Adam was almost thrown out of the rowboat. He clung to the seat as it swung around. He saw blue skies and the glittering city. The boat swung back again, and he saw black clouds, and the Arizona, his father's ship, sinking beneath the water.

-- from A Boy at War

"He kept looking up, afraid the planes would come back. The sky was obscured by black smoke....It was all unreal: the battleships half sunk, the bullet holes in the boat, Davi and Martin in the water."

December 7, 1941:

On a quiet Sunday morning, while Adam and his friends are fishing near Honolulu, a surprise attack by Japanese bombers destroys the fleet at Pearl Harbor.

Even as Adam struggles to survive the sudden chaos all around him, and as his friends endure the brunt of the attack, a greater concern hangs over his head: Adam's father, a navy lieutenant, was stationed on the USS Arizona when the bombs fell. During the subsequent days Adam -- not yet a man, but no longer a boy -- is caught up in the war as he desperately tries to make sense of what happened to his friends and to find news of his father.

Harry Mazer, whose autobiographical novel, The Last Mission, brought the European side of World War II to vivid life, now turns to the Pacific theater and how the impact of war can alter young lives forever.
 

About Harry Mazer

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Harry Mazer is the author of many books for young readers, including Please, Somebody Tell Me Who I Am; My Brother Abe; the Boy at War trilogy; The Wild Kid; The Dog in the Freezer; The Island Keeper; and Snow Bound. His books have won numerous honors, including a Horn Book honor and an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults citation. Along with his wife, Norma Fox Mazer, Harry received an ALAN award in 2003 for outstanding contribution to adolescent literature. He lives in Montpelier, Vermont.Peter Lerangis is the author of many books for young readers, including wtf, Smiler’s Bones, the Watchers series, and The Sword Thief, in the New York Times bestselling 39 Clues series. Peter lives with his wife and two sons in New York City. Visit him at PeterLerangis.com.
 
Published June 26, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 122 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Action & Adventure, War, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Boy at War

Kirkus Reviews

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The letter asks the still grieving Adam, who is struggling to cope with a new school, additional family responsibilities, and a tough part-time job, to deliver a note to a relative whom Davi hopes can find his father, confined in a California internment camp.

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Kirkus Reviews

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When Davi Mori, a classmate whose father was born in Japan, invites him to go fishing early Sunday morning, December 7th, Adam disobeys his father.

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Publishers Weekly

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Mazer successfully fuses a strong portrayal of Adam's transformation with both a vivid account of the attack and subtle suggestions of the complexities of Japanese-American relations as played out in particular lives.

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Publishers Weekly

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A 14-year-old boy, newly arrived in 1941 Hawaii, witnesses the attack on Pearl Harbor.

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BC Books

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This book will surely grab the aggressive interest of young males, particularly those who might be slower readers or who claim “I hate to read.” I am guessing that the reading level of this tale is around 4.5 to 5th grade.

May 04 2010 | Read Full Review of A Boy at War: A Novel of Pear...

BC Books

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he notices a pit, pit, pit of tiny pellets hitting the water and their small rowboat.

May 04 2010 | Read Full Review of A Boy at War: A Novel of Pear...

Historical Novel Society

In this sequel to A Boy at War, author Harry Mazer picks up the story of young Adam Pelko after the attack on Pearl Harbor, where he witnessed his father’s death on the USS Arizona.

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Seattle PI

Adam attends high school in Honolulu.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of A Boy at War: A Novel of Pear...

KidsReads

On December 7, 1941, Adam and his friends Davi and Martin are out fishing on a boat in Hawaii's Pearl Harbor.

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Reader Rating for A Boy at War
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