Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Heroes Don't Run

Heroes Don't Run

Harry Mazer
Historical Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Simon and Schuster, 2009   ISBN: 978-1416933946

Now that he is seventeen Adam is ready to do his duty. He feels that he cannot wait until he is eighteen to enlist in the armed forces, and that he has to do his best to get into the fight against "the Japs" as soon as possible. Since his mother will not sign the necessary paperwork, Adam travels across the country to upstate New York to see his grandfather. Adam is sure that the old man, once a soldier himself, will sign the papers that will let Adam do what he thinks he is right.

Thankfully Adam's grandfather agrees with his grandson, and soon Adam is in the marines, training in boot camp for the battles ahead. Though the training is grueling, often humiliating, and sometimes confusing, Adam takes pride in his progress. He works hard to do his best and to honor his father who died aboard the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor in 1941.

Even though he has been taught a great deal about battle and fighting, when Adam finds himself on the Japanese island of Okinawa, the truth of what war is really like is a shock. There is so much chaos, and death surrounds him. As his fellow soldiers die in droves, Adam does his best to do his job and to stay alive, for he has promised his mother that he, unlike his father, will return to her.

This is the concluding volume in a well researched, beautifully crafted, and captivating trilogy about one young man's struggles during World War II. Heroes Don't Run is sure to satisfy readers who have been following the life of Adam Pelko.