Prisoner of War, Michael P. Sprawling, Scholastic, June 27 2017
A fine YA for around Grade 7 and up. It is the story of a young man, who lies about his age to get into the Marines during WWII and is sent to the Philippines. The young solider becomes part of the Bataan Death March and is put in a Japanese prison camp for the remainder of the occupation.
This story, while not overplaying the scenes of death, horror and menace also does not hide these realities. In some ways, the book is an antidote to war stories of glorious heroic action and victory. The hero and his friends, fellow Marines, are in constant danger and death surrounds them.
The book is very well written for the age group and fast paced. I recommend it as an excellent historical story of bravery, ideals and the realities of war.
Bodyguard, Book 1, The Recruit, Chris Bradford, Philomel, out now
The Recruit is the first in a series of action-packed reads for Grades 6 to 8, like a Jason Bourne-type of Martial Arts adventure for younger readers.
The hero, teenage kickboxing champion Connor Reeves, is recruited into a secret young bodyguard squad known as Guardian. After training, his first mission is one of the biggest possible: to protect the president’s daughter who a terrorist sleeper cell is seeking to kidnap.
The book does deal with security issues and the protection of someone in need, but essentially it features action, followed by action. The book is good for what it is which is action entertainment. It would make a good read for those leaving Alex Rider but not ready for I Am The Weapon.
And if your young reader gets hooked on the book, there’s good news. Four of the Bodyguard series have been released simultaneously, with books two, Hostage, three, Hijack, and four, Ransom, featuring the same non-stop excitement.