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B FOR BUSTER by Iain Lawrence Kirkus Star

B FOR BUSTER

By Iain Lawrence

Pub Date: June 8th, 2004
ISBN: 0-385-73086-1
Publisher: Delacorte

It’s 1943 and Kak is eager to join the war. He lies about his age, makes himself an orphan, and runs away to enlist in the Canadian Air Force. A hometown hero and experienced flier warns him, “You’ll fly an op or two, then beg me to get you out.” Sure enough, war is nothing like comic-book heroes vanquishing evil. Kak has nightmares of falling out of the sky, he fears waiting, and he fears flying, “hurtling through space above a planet made of fire.” This is a familiar story elevated by eloquent writing, a fast-paced plot, and research neatly woven into the narrative. A long author’s note supplies background information. A fascinating angle on the fliers is their use of pigeons as message carriers from downed planes, and a slovenly pigeoneer named Bert befriends Kak and helps him through hard times. A sure hit for fans of war stories and adventures. (maps, glossary) (Fiction. 12=)