Kid Soldier

Jennifer Maruno. Dundurn (Ingram, dist.), $10.99 paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-4597-0677-4
In this historical coming-of-age story, a Canadian teenager joins the Army at the outset of WWII. Maruno (Cherry Blossom Winter) introduces 15-year-old Richard Fuller, who starts out performing odd jobs around his hometown of Niagara Falls in order to earn money for a bicycle, before he's introduced to the lure of armed service. Under a false name, the underage Richard enlists and quickly proves himself capable as a signalman. After training, he's sent overseas to England, where he comes face-to-face with the true cost and brutality of war. Maruno's attention to detail and loyalty to source material adds significant verisimilitude to the historical setting. However, the story itself is fairly skimpy, often skipping from one episodic event to the next without closure, creating a patchy effect that doesn't always support the gravity of the subject matter. As a result, characterizations also remain rudimentary; Richard goes from one job to the next, joins the Army, has a few adventures, and is deployed to England in quick succession. Rich in historical accuracy, light in story. Ages 12–15. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
Release date: 09/01/2013
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4597-0679-8
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4597-0678-1
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