Sunday, September 2, 2012

'Back to Bataan' Book Tour and Review

ISBN: 9780985792206
ISBN: 9781476119076
Pages: 98
Release: July 1, 2012

Back to Bataan Summary

New York City, 1943. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, while Jack Dalton is stuck attending Dutch Masters Day School. What Jack really wants is to enlist in the army, to fight...

Everything changes when Coco, Jack's "fiancee," throws him over for one of his classmates. Jack sees red and does something drastic. Then he runs away. Hiding out in a nearby park, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, an ex-convict who is as articulate and charismatic as he is dangerous. The Leader turns Jack's world upside down. To put things right, Jack must prove himself a braver soldier than he ever imagined.

**My thoughts**
Back to Bataan is a different kind of young adult book, at least for more modern literature. It is reminiscent of older classics by authors such as Hemingway and Salinger. The characters are more mature than one would expect 11 year-olds to be. They are deeper thinkers who are more concerned with world problems and the effects of those on their personal lives than shallow current trends. You can read this book quickly, but you are forced to stop and think more about what is being said than you do when perusing the contemporary trendy books about vampires.
I think to fully appreciate this book, readers will want to brush up on their history. Learn more about Bataan and the horrors of the Nazi regime. Read about how families at home struggled during the war, even here in America. Why is it so difficult for them to find proper food? Why is it so bad that Hans is suspected of being a Nazi? What are Jack's stories really trying to tell us? There's more going on here than meets the eye.
Buy Links
Jerome Charyn's Bio:

Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since 1964, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

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1 comment:

  1. Andrea, thanks so much for your review and for sharing Jerome's book with your YA followers :)