Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ghost of Heroes Past

Reid, Charles. Ghost of Heroes Past.
Nominated for the Cybils by Hilda Polten

Johnny doesn't want to spend his birthday at a Remembrance Day parade, and that's enough for his father to make him go. At night, Johnny keeps having dreams where he is led, A Christmas Carol style, through various battles with different Canadian war heroes and sees how devastating battles can be. During his waking hourse, he makes the aquaintance of Casey, a girl who is interested in military history, and the two of them work on a school porject together. Johnny tells Casey about his strange dreams, and try to figure out why Johnny is the one having these. In the end, Johnny decides that the Remembrance Day parade is important, and that knowing about Canadians war heroes enriches his life.

Strengths: There is a fair amount of action in this book, and details about the battles in which the Canadian heroes fought. Since I didn't know about the Canadian involvement, this view point was interesting.

Weaknesses: Flipping back and forth so frequently between dreams and waking got a bit confusing, and not identifying the ghost soldier guide until the end, while an effective twist, leads to some clunky descriptors. While younger boy readers may not be bothered by Casey's description as a messy, boyish girl who cleans up her act, it irked me every time it was brought up. Girls can be interested in war without being slobs.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the review, I am going to look for it.