Shannon's Reviews > Warriors in the Crossfire

Warriors in the Crossfire by Nancy Bo Flood
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Sep 11, 11

Read in June, 2011

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 with a Disney flourish of miracles and magic. It includes heroism of the everyday kind, with a boy doing his best to protect his family, even when he doesn't know how. In one scene, Joseph carries his father's body, while shells explode in the distance. "My arms grew numb. I no longer felt fear or grief or even the rain." The invasion is told with all the terror of war, although depicted appropriately for a younger audience.

When it became clear that the Americans would win the war, Japanese soldiers and citizens were marched to one end of the island and forced to leap into the sea. American soldiers dropped leaflets urging people not to jump. This true event, as depicted in Warriors, and witnessed by the character Joseph, had me holding my breath even as I turned pages. "People stepped through the swirling papers as if they were falling leaves."

I highly recommend this book for teachers with WWII in their curriculums as well as for readers age 10 and up with an interest in history or war.
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