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Haunted by dreams of violence and death, Morris makes it his personal mission to watch over his friends--and the best place to do that is in the US Navy. Stationed off the coast of Vietnam on the USS Boston, Morris and his fellow sailors provide crucial support to the troops on the ground.
But the Boston itself isn't safe from attack. And as Morris finds his courage and resolve tested like never before, he keeps coming back to a single thought.
He made a pledge. He must keep them safe.
- ISBN-13: 9780545270298
- ISBN-10: 0545270294
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publish Date: November 2011
- Page Count: 192
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
Series: Vietnam (Scholastic) #1
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-10-24
- Reviewer: Staff
Lynch (Inexcusable) has trouble finding the emotional core of his Vietnam War novel, first in a planned series, making the story’s outcome feel both inevitable and pointless. When Rudi—one in a group of four tight-knit 18- and 19-year-old friends in Boston—gets drafted, the rest of the boys honor their pledge to enlist, each joining a different branch of the armed forces. While this all-for-one commitment isn’t beyond belief, Rudi is portrayed as mentally incompetent and is unlikely to have been accepted for service, undercutting the premise. Issues like the morality of the war and the protests are glossed over as the book thrusts the narrator, Morris, into his new life in the U.S. Navy. This is a fairly ordinary war tale, as new soldiers are introduced (with the usual archetypes, from the scared kid pressured into enlisting by his family to the token tough black man, an awkwardly handled character, especially in light of racial unrest in the Navy during Vietnam), followed by the expected battles, tragedies, and inability to explain the horrors of war. Ages 9–12. (Nov.)