THE CHILDREN'S WAR by Theodor Taylor


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In a first-person novel that has the unforced immediacy of actual memories, Dory Scofield recreates the year he was 12 in 1941-42, when the Japanese invaded the little Aleutian settlement where he lived with 29 other Navy families and a small Eskimo population. It's a town where the whole community turns out to welcome the new teacher with banner, honor guard, and a speech from the post's commanding officer; Dory's happiest hours are spent hunting with his new rifle, his wolf pup, and sometimes with the ""loony"" Eskimo hermit Baku. Then, halfway through the book, ""Suddenly it was December 7, 1941."" The story is two-thirds over when the Japanese arrive, imprison the men on a nearby island, and occupy the town. Dory's tense midnight trip to the island when he and a gritty girl his age guide an American Army scout to the Japanese installation, and his pacifist teacher's death when she helps in the subsequent liberation of the island, are all the more affecting in the context of a closely knit community's pre-war tranquillity. Taylor has managed to produce an involving story without glorifying war or dehumanizing the enemy.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1971
Publisher: Doubleday