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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.
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on Jun 26, 2012
ISBN: 9781442472112
List price: $6.99
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Adam Pelko is a 14 year old boy who moves to Hawaii with his family during the early part of World War II. His father is an officer in the United States Navy, and according to Adam, he "runs a tight ship." Adam, his sister and his mother all know how to "behave" and ther right way to act as an officer's family. As Adam explores Hawaii, he becomes friends with a boy named Davy, whose family is Japanese. Adam's father is not very happy with Adam When he learns about his new friend, because the Americans my soon be going to war against the Japanese. Adam, Davy and another friend decide to go fishing early one Saturday morning. As they begin fishing, they hear the sound of airplanes, and as they watch the planes from their small boat, they think that there must be a movie being taped because the sound of bombs is so real. They don't know it then, but eventually learn that it is not a movie, the Japanese are bombing Pearl Harbor. The description of the planes flying, and the bombs falling makes you feel as if you were there right in the middle of it. As the boys try to get back to their families, Adam is mistaken for a soldier, and is used to help rescue Navy men who were on the ships that were bombed. Adam becomes angry at Davy for what his "family" is doing to the Americans, and their friendship is at risk. Adam must decide whether he will behave the way the world thinks he should, or listen to his true feelings.read more
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This is a book about a boy who gets involved with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and is forced to grow up all in one momentous day.This book is very short and quick, but that is what makes it so powerful - it is dynamic and very fast-paced.This is a very good book... there are also 2 sequels.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Historical fiction (becuase of the fictinonal boy's perspective of the historical event) for intermediate to middle school readers. Adam's father is in the navy and they are newly stationed at Pearl Harbor. Adam finally begins to make new friends and begins enjoying the island, but everything shatters when the Japanese attack and he has to grow up quickly, helping as best as he can. He witnesses his fathers ship sink to bottom of the harbor. He struggles through the restoration processb ut provides a good insight for students to see how people were effected by the attack. Media: The cover is done in colored pencilread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Adam Pelko is a 14 year old boy who moves to Hawaii with his family during the early part of World War II. His father is an officer in the United States Navy, and according to Adam, he "runs a tight ship." Adam, his sister and his mother all know how to "behave" and ther right way to act as an officer's family. As Adam explores Hawaii, he becomes friends with a boy named Davy, whose family is Japanese. Adam's father is not very happy with Adam When he learns about his new friend, because the Americans my soon be going to war against the Japanese. Adam, Davy and another friend decide to go fishing early one Saturday morning. As they begin fishing, they hear the sound of airplanes, and as they watch the planes from their small boat, they think that there must be a movie being taped because the sound of bombs is so real. They don't know it then, but eventually learn that it is not a movie, the Japanese are bombing Pearl Harbor. The description of the planes flying, and the bombs falling makes you feel as if you were there right in the middle of it. As the boys try to get back to their families, Adam is mistaken for a soldier, and is used to help rescue Navy men who were on the ships that were bombed. Adam becomes angry at Davy for what his "family" is doing to the Americans, and their friendship is at risk. Adam must decide whether he will behave the way the world thinks he should, or listen to his true feelings.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is a book about a boy who gets involved with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and is forced to grow up all in one momentous day.This book is very short and quick, but that is what makes it so powerful - it is dynamic and very fast-paced.This is a very good book... there are also 2 sequels.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Historical fiction (becuase of the fictinonal boy's perspective of the historical event) for intermediate to middle school readers. Adam's father is in the navy and they are newly stationed at Pearl Harbor. Adam finally begins to make new friends and begins enjoying the island, but everything shatters when the Japanese attack and he has to grow up quickly, helping as best as he can. He witnesses his fathers ship sink to bottom of the harbor. He struggles through the restoration processb ut provides a good insight for students to see how people were effected by the attack. Media: The cover is done in colored pencil
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Even though this book is about the beginning of a war (World War II), the main character is a boy, and the story involves injuries, blood, and getting shot (which is why it is more of a boy book than a girl book), I enjoyed it. Harry Mazer did a good job writing the book and did a good job creating his characters. I think Adam is a character they'd be able to relate to, especially if they have a parent who is in the army. The book has tense moments, when Adam is trying to find and help is friends after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, and it draws you in further.Though the book is thin and easy to read, I think it is more appropriate for older kids because of the war related storyline. A 4th grader would enjoy it and if he was mature it wouldn't be bad, but I think it'd have to be something a parent decided if he was ready for.
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This is a good book. It was interesting being in the middle in the action. Also, I learned alot about World War II too!
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This book is about a boy named Adam and his father is a navy lieutenant. He lives in Honolulu. japanese planes fly over the U.S. Navy base and attacks the base. Adam watches and his fathers ship the arizona sink and he realizes this is real. the next few days Adam searches for answers to find out where his friends and father are. Adam learns for somethings there are no anwsers. I recommend this book because it is a good book and you will learn stuff about the war of pearl Harbor. J.C.
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