Sunday, November 11, 2018

Island War

Giff, Patricia Reilly. Island War
October 23rd 2018 by Holiday House
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Izzy and Matt both end up on a small Alaska island in 1941. Izzy's father wrote travel logs until his death in a car accident, and her mother is a bird watcher, so the two decide to continue with plans he made to live on the island. Matt's gruff father rips him from a pleasant life on the East Coast with his mother and gives him a kayak, as if that would take the place of his own beloved boat. The two don't get along at first due to some misunderstanding, and both find it difficult to settle in to such a different life. It doesn't help when Pearl Harbor is bombed and the US enters into war. Rumors are that their island could be attacked, but when Japanese soldiers show up at their door, steal their food, and make life difficult, it is still a shock. The occupation goes on for several years, until the Japanese decide to take the residents back to Japan. Both Matt and Izzy are away from their homes when this happens, and don't get on the boat. Izzy goes to Matt's house looking for food, and plans to stay there for a while, so is surprised when he shows up. The two form an uneasy alliance and survive, along with a dog who was left behind. When the island becomes a battle ground, they must rely on their survival skills even more to remain safe until they can be rescued.
Strengths: This covers an unusual aspect of WWII, and is a good length. The story is intriguing and moves at a good pace, and readers who enjoy problem novels or survival tales will find this one amusing. This is very similar in tone to this author's Genevieve's War.
Weaknesses: Having read Seiple's Ghosts in the Fog a while back at Gratz's Grenade more recently, I wanted a much more action packed story. I also didn't like either Matt or Izzy.
What I really think: Definitely purchasing, since I always need more books on WWII for an 8th grade unit, but am personally a little disappointed.
Ms. Yingling

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