I've been recommending all of the John Wilson books that we have, even before reading them, (And in the Morning, Flames of a Tiger, Battle Scars, etc.) but when I do read them, I am so impressed. Never having been a boy, I don't get the fascination with war, but I know it is there. Perhaps boys read books about war for the same reason that girls like books about child abuse.
Four Steps to Death was so good, and so sad. Lots of action and explosions and deaths, but such a good message in the end. From the publisher: "The fates of three young men come together during the Battle of Stalingrad in Russia during World War II. " If you don't have it, just buy it.
I'm not putting a plot description because I got sidetracked reading Mr. Wilson's blog:
His "Eviscerating Noddy" post should be required reading for all young adult authors. Mr. Wilson gets what boys want to read. No introspective navel gazing voyages of self discovery. The funny thing is, something like Four Steps to Death is a hugely philosophical comment on the atrocity of war. The students still get that, but it's sugar coated in lots of death and destruction, so the medicine goes down. They're reading, they're learning, and they're getting that message. If the book is so dull that they won't pick it up, they don't.
Mr. Wilson, I bet Teletubbies makes a very loud, squeaky squish when they are stepped on!