When I was asked if I’d like to participate in a book tour for Warriors in the Crossfire, by Nancy Bo Flood, I couldn’t help but say ‘YES!’ This is a novel set in World War II on the island of Saipan. Although this is a work of fiction, it is based on events and stories from those who survived the Japanese invasion. It is fascinating, compelling and haunting.
In this relatively short (141 page) story, we meet Joseph who is just a boy in school, making every attempt to read Japanese. However, he is given responsiblity for his household, after his father and brother-in-law are removed from the family to work at the airstrip. Unable to pursue his education, Joseph is instructed to take his mother, sister and nephew and hide them in the caves on Saipan. There they will be safe, or so it is hoped.
Warriors in the Crossfire is a story of war and so it does involve issues of death and fear and heartache. It is not a book I’d recommend for pleasure, from the standpoint of wanting to read something solely for entertainment purposes. That said, I thought the book was remarkably well-told and clean, given the fact that it was trying to document a rather horrifying historical situation to young adults. I though Flood handled the issues in a very tasteful manner.
I would recommend parents being aware of the themes in this book so that they can discuss it with their reader. There is the issue of war, of course, and invasion, death, religious persuasions and practices and maintaining friendships with those who are purported to be your enemy. Spirituality is a heavy topic in this book and since I didn’t agree with most of the things presented, I’d definitely want to dialogue about that particular topic. These subjects are all good food for thought and I’d certainly talk about the book with my children were they old enough to read it. I would also let them read it because I think it is a good piece of historical fiction, short enough to hold attention and whet the appetite to learn more about the island and World War II.
I’d recommend Warriors in the Crossfire, with the encouragement that parents read it first just so that you know what is in it!
Thanks to KidzBookBuzz for offering me the opportunity to participate in this tour!