Warriors in the Crossfire
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Warriors in the Crossfire

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  145 ratings  ·  46 reviews
On the island of Saipan, in the South Pacific, the second world war is a distant idea. The Japanese have governed the island for twenty-five years and they mix regularly with the native islanders. Though no one questions who holds power, the two peoples coexist peacefully.

Joseph has known Japanese occupation for his entire life. One of the only islanders accepted by the Ja...more
Hardcover, 142 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Front Street (first published May 1st 2009)
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Warriors in the Crossfire is a haunting depiction of the invasion of Saipan during World War II. The author, Nancy Bo Flood, spent time living in Saipan, and this comes through in her writing. It is clear from the vivid descriptions, "Dawn was spilling light across the waves. Blood-red streaks cut along the wide straight horizon, separating ocean and sky.", that she has been there, seen it with her own eyes, and found it beautiful.

This tale of Joseph and his cousin Kento is one that doesn't end...more
Sheila Welch


by Nancy Bo Flood

This story drew me in with its clearly depicted first scene – two boys in a small boat, riding ocean waves just before dawn. They’re hunting sea turtles, but things don’t go quite as planned, and one of them nearly drowns. Soon the boys’ adventures, as well as their friendship, are overshadowed by the threat of war coming to their island home of Saipan, which is under Japanese control.

Joseph, the narrator, is an intelligent, native boy who believes in th...more
Joseph is an island native living with his family on Saipan, near Japan. His father is a tribe leader and as his father’s only son, he is expected to learn his people’s ways and heritage at his father’s side and one day take his father’s place as a tribal leader. Things change quickly for Joseph and his family as World War II nears its end and Japanese soldiers take over his island home in an attempt to push American soldiers back and protect the Japanese mainland. Joseph’s life changes from one...more
Alex Baugh
Twelve year old Joseph. son of a Saipan chief and clan leader, and his Japanese cousin Kento Tanaka have always been friends and now they both want to become warriors. But Saipan has been occupied by the Japanese for the past 25 years and becoming warriors has been forbidden.

Up til now, World War II hasn't had much of an impact on life on Saipan, but one day at the Japanese school the boys attend, they are sent home by their teacher with words of warning to obey. As the Americans get closer, th...more
In this book, the natives of the island Saipan are caught in a crossfire during World War II. The main character is a native teen who is cousins with a Japanese boy. The two are family, but they both have different perspectives. The Japanese boy is sure of victory, while the Native, Joseph, is sure of pain.
I think this book was interesting because of its setting. Many have written about the second world war, but not many have written through the eyes of a native. Some have written from the Japan...more
Nick Smith
Warriors in the Crossfire by Nancy Bo Flood is one book you will not want to put down after you pick it up. Its addicting, fast moving, suspense filled book that will get your blood flowing.

Sapian, an island in the South Pacific, a place of unwanted war for the native people. Warriors in the Crossfire is a novel about how the native people from Sapian are under the control of the Japenese. Joseph is the son the the chief of the natives and is one of the only natives accepted into the Japenese s...more
Dec 04, 2012 Ed added it
Flood, Nancy Bo. (2010). Warriors in the Crossfire. Ashville, NC: Front Street Books. 142 pp. ISBN 978-1-59078-661-1 (Hard Cover); $17.95.

Joseph and his family have lived on Saipan longer than either the Japanese or the Americans. However, both the Japanese and Americans will kill Joseph and his family if they are not very careful.

American students often think of the war between the Japanese and the United States during WWII in very simple, US vs. THEM, terms. However these islands are home to p...more
Flood, N.B. (2010). Warriors in the Crossfire. Honesdale, PA: Front Street.


141 Pages.

Appetizer: Joseph, his family and his tribe live on the island of Saipan in 1944. The island has already been under the control of the Japanese for the duration of the war, and many of the tribe's freedoms stripped away. As the American forces grow close, the Japanese military's presence also increases, taking the last vestiges of freedom and replacing it with the certainty that the island will be b...more
Allison Parker
Oct 14, 2010 Allison Parker rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history buffs
Shelves: juvenile, young-adult
As the American forces fought their way closer and closer to Japan during World War II, the island nation of Saipan (under Japanese contol) was caught in between. In this historical fiction story,
Joseph is a young man, a native of Saipan, whose people is under strict and often racist control of the Japanese. Rumors build that the Americans are advancing and the battles might reach their shores.
While the people of Saipan literally are caught in crossfires, Joseph too is caught between cultures...more
The people of Saipan were caught in the US-Japanese crossfire of World War Two, and this novel personalizes the tragedy.

Flood gives the violence perspective by focusing upon cultural customs and conflict. Joseph is destined to be a village elder, like his father. He respects the ocean as a source of power and identity. He also loves Japanese poetry, and attends the local Japanese school. It’s his best path to modern success, albeit limited by Japan’s claim to national superiority.

The cultural...more
Sandra Stiles
What happens when war breaks out and you find yourself and your country caught in the middle between two warring nations? This book is based on actual historical events. The characters are made up. The setting was unfamiliar to me which is great. It meant research to learn more about the island of Saipan. Joseph lives on this island which has fallen under Japanese control The Japanese encroach on these native people believing many of them are spies for the Americans. Joseph is instructed by his...more
Tyler Anderson
This book was about 2 boys on an island in the pacific during World War 2. Japan is under tight watch of the islanders and constantly taking away their privileges.The main character Joseph was thought of as an "island warrior" and his friend Kento wanted him to teach him how to be a warrior. since Kento was Japanese they weren't suppose to see each other which brought more troubles. The book wasn't as interesting as i originally thought it was going to be and I couldn't really connect with any p...more
This is a beautifully written book about a young Japanese boy and his Saigon-ian friend during the time of WWII. It is a very short read that only took me a couple of hours but time that I was fully engrossed in the story. This is a great book for the younger crowd (I'd say 13+ due to some descriptions of female anatomy) and teaches honesty, integrity, and loyalty.

I highly recommend this read by Nancy Bo Flood! Be sure to check out her other works as well! She's a very talented author! I have r...more
Colin Mccue
Great book!

This book was amazing. I really enjoyed reading this book because it was very descriptive and I learned a lot about this war. I really recommend this book to anyone.
Miz Lizzie
During World War II the Japanese occupied the island of Taipan, forcing the indigenous people to work for them and then abandonning them when the U.S. forces took the island. Joseph and his half-Japanese cousin must decide whether to let family bonds or ethnic bonds guide their actioins. The novel provides some fascinating insight to part of WWII history that has been largely overlooked. For all the danger, death, and hardship in the novel though, I was disappointed at the emotional distance con...more
SLJ gr 5-9 (but I would say it's gr 6-8) 138 pgs

Saipan 1944. 12 year old Joseph is tired of all the restrictions that the Japanese place on his people. Unlike his father, Joseph wants to fight back when they insult him. As the American forces come nearer to the island in their fight with the Japanese, Joseph finds himself and his family caught in the crossfire. It is up to Joseph to find a way to help himself and his loved ones survive.

I thought this story did a good job of making the reader fee...more
Miss Amanda
SLJ gr 5-9 (but I would say it's gr 6-8) 138 pgs

Saipan 1944. 12 year old Joseph is tired of all the restrictions that the Japanese place on his people. Unlike his father, Joseph wants to fight back when they insult him. As the American forces come nearer to the island in their fight with the Japanese, Joseph finds himself and his family caught in the crossfire. It is up to Joseph to find a way to help himself and his loved ones survive.

I thought this story did a good job of making the reader fee...more
Wow! With all the fighting and crazy plot twists, I don't know how the author fit the story in, too. I think Ako and Tayeo are the cutest kids and I loved how the both made Joeseph smile when he didn't know how he would keep going. I also loved how (like Is it Night or Day) it showed a side of WWII that we as Americans don't think much about. I was surprised at how the Japanese would do anything to keep from being defeated. I read in the afterword that the Japanese fought down to the last dozen...more
Each chapter starts with a short poem - often haiku form, always brief but full of contrasting images: the beauty of the ocean and island and the fear and horror that war brings; the warrior in action, the warrior waiting. There were contrasts in each character - the Joseph on the ocean, free and confident, and the one hiding, frightened, uncertain - and contrasts in the setting - brilliant cliffs, people dying. I thought the story did an amazing job of capturing the intensity of being young, of...more
Joseph is a native of the island of Saipan - he is the son of a Chief. Japan has control over their small island during WWII - Joseph is the only native allowed to go to their schools. Soon after the American invasion, Japan realizes that it will lose control of the island and many Japanese families are forced to do the "unthinkable". After his father has died, Joseph is forced to hide his family in one of the many caves on the island. They must survive thirst and starvation. Good story - lots o...more
This was a powerful story about the people on the island of Saipan during the final months of WWII. Told from the viewpoint of a young boy, this is a story with many themes: honor, family, war, sacrifice. The historical aspects of the story were well-researched, and again I learned things I didn't know about the history of our world. I love in the author's note when she thanks the people of Saipan who spoke with her and shared their stories and says, "May your stories light a candle for peace."
This is a story of native peoples caught in the crossfire of World War II in the Pacific. The people of Saipan Island huddle between the occupying Japanese, who vow death to all rather than surrender, and the Americans who are said to be so vicious they eat children. Who do you fight for? Who do you fear most? And does it take more courage to fight or to survive?

Due out in March. Till then, how about reading "Elephant Run" by Roland Smith? Another powerful piece of historical fiction from WWII.
Joseph and Kento are cousins who live on the island of Saipan during WW2. Kento is half-Japanese and half native. Joseph is a native of the island. The Japanese have taken over, but the Americans are on their way. How will the families survive the conflicting loyalties and the heavy fighting that is headed their way?

Great book for those who like action, adventure and fighting. Also a thought-provoking look at the little known plight of the islands in that area.
A small, intense book about Saipan during WW II. The story is told by a young Saipan boy who must lead his family to safety and learn to make decisions of life and death. This is not a book for the faint hearted but it is also lovely and sincere. I had never before read stories of the people of the south pacific islands during the war.

Thanks to Beth for this beautiful book.
Susan P
During WWII, the island of Saipan is caught between the warring Japanese and American soldiers. The natives haven't chosen a side, but they are right in the middle of the war. When Joseph's father and brother-in-law are sent away, he must become the head of the household. This is one of those books that will make kids want to do more research on a lesser known topic.
Alicia Scully
Cousins Joseph and Kento are living in the South Pacific island of Saipan during WWII. The two are exceptionally close though Kento is half Japanese and this obviously causes tensions between the two. An excellent account of historical fiction from the point of view of those that aren't usually covered in WWII novels. Nicely done.
I read young adult novels that have historical emphasis. Saipan, an island, near Japan is occupied by the Japanese in World War II. Joseph honors his father and cares for his family during America's invasion of Saipan. There is much loss and grief and an entire culture is on the verge of destruction.
A short, quick read about a young native boy under Japanese rule during WWII. Somehow, despite the background of war and death, the story comes across as relatively low-key. I didn't find it terribly exciting in terms of writing style, but this episode of history is definitely interesting.
Katie Day
Would be an interesting complement to Terry Prachett's "Nation" - which our grade 6 students read. Island, traumatic events, two young people from opposing cultures, survival, death & religion, etc. Unlike "Nation" this is quite short - and based on historical event (Saipan in WWII).
This 2013 Sequoyah Award nominee is a historically accurate fiction tale of a South Pacific Islander’s family. It is set during WWII on the island of Saipan, which is a buffer between Japan and the advancing American forces.
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English 11 Block ...: warriors in the crossfire 1 4 Dec 03, 2012 04:06PM  
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Nancy Bo Flood is an author, psychologist, teacher, and mother who writes about what she enjoys—children and foreign cultures. She has taught in several different cultures, including Japan, Saipan of Micronesia, Hawaii and Samoa. She lives on the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona.
More about Nancy Bo Flood...
Cowboy Up!: Ride the Navajo Rodeo No Name Baby Sand to Stone: And Back Again The Navajo Year, Walk Through Many Seasons Come and Play

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