The Forty-Third War

Louise Moeri, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $11.05 (200p) ISBN 978-0-395-50215-0
At 12, Uno is the only remaining male in his Central American family when he is conscripted by the rebel army. The current conflict, the 43rd war in the history of Uno's unnamed country, has killed or taken all other available men from his village, and Uno has been dreading the day he is found and pressed into service. Without him, how will his mother and sisters survive? The rebel forces, who seem initially to be kidnappers, reveal themselves quickly as the better side: the loyalists are well-equipped bullies who serve the corrupt upper class, while the rebels are decent, if desperate. Readers follow Uno for eight harrowing days, through training and battle, until the war ends. Although the novel begins slowly, Uno's adventure, once it has begun, outweighs the author's conscientious message about Central America. Ending on a note of optimism, Moeri ( Star Mother's Youngest Child ) has created a moving, solid novel on a very timely subject. Ages 10-14. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Prebound-Other - 978-0-7857-1664-8
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-395-66955-6
Prebound-Sewn - 200 pages - 978-0-606-05833-9
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