cover image Lost in the War

Lost in the War

Nancy Antle. Dial Books, $15.99 (144pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-2299-6

In eighth grade in the early 1980s, Lisa Grey is too young to remember the Vietnam War, but she feels its repercussions every day. Her father was killed in Vietnam and her mother, a nurse, still has nightmares about being stationed there. When her history teacher announces a month-long unit on Vietnam, it strikes a reluctant Lisa as a little too close to home. But as she listens to guest speakers and works on an assignment to design a Vietnam War memorial, Lisa develops a fuller understanding of her parents' experiences. Antle (Staying Cool) presents a historically accurate account of war atrocities without bringing the action too close to the front lines. She conveys information through the filtered memories of a disabled veteran, Lisa's mother and Lisa's teacher, who protested the war and avoided the draft. Two scenes are particularly memorable: Lisa's mother speaks to the spellbound class about nursing soldiers; and the Greys attend the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where Lisa leaves a personal tribute to her father. Readers who know little about the Vietnam War and its effects on Americans will find a moving introduction in this sober family drama. Ages 11-up. (June)