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Boy at War: A Novel of Pearl Harbor by Harry Mazer, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

During the subsequent days Adam -- not yet a man, but no longer a boy -- is caught up in the war as he desperately tries to make sense of what happened to his friends and to find news of his father. Harry Mazer, whose autobiographical novel, The Last Mission, brought the European side of World War II to vivid life, now turns to the Pacific theater and how the impact of war can alter young lives forever. Mazer's The Last Mission taut adventure adopts the perspective of a year-old newly arrived in Hawaii to capture the chaos surrounding the unexpected attack on Pearl Harbor in Adam is fishing near Pearl Harbor when the bombs are dropped.

Taken for a navy man, he is thrown into the attempts to save lives.


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As the attack continues, the resulting confusion is reflected in staccato and impressionistic language: "The water around the once-proud battleship was thick with oil, and it stunk. Smoke and filth. Life rafts, pieces of boats, and men floundered in the watery debris A foot, an arm. He saw everything through a red haze. He ran. He clung to the seat as it swung around. He saw blue skies and the glittering city.

A Boy at War

The boat swung back again, and he saw black clouds, and the Arizona, his father's ship, sinking beneath the water. The sky was obscured by black smoke It was all unreal: the battleships half sunk, the bullet holes in the boat, Davi and Martin in the water. Even as Adam struggles to survive the sudden chaos all around him, and as his friends endure the brunt of the attack, a greater concern hangs over his head: Adam's father, a navy lieutenant, was stationed on the USS Arizona when the bombs fell.

During the subsequent days Adam -- not yet a man, but no longer a boy -- is caught up in the war as he desperately tries to make sense of what happened to his friends and to find news of his father. Harry Mazer, whose autobiographical novel, The Last Mission, brought the European side of World War II to vivid life, now turns to the Pacific theater and how the impact of war can alter young lives forever.

Then, they see the Japanese bombers bomb the naval ships in Pearl Harbor some only yards away.

Adam watches as his father's ship, the Arizona , goes down and sinks. Once the Japanese attackers leave the harbor in the morning, Adam runs home with a rifle and makes sure his mother and sister, Bea, are okay. Emory Pelko, is dead or alive. About a week after Adam arrives back home, the family gets a telegram saying the Lt.


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Emory Pelko is missing. The family wants to move back to the mainland but Adam wants to stay in Hawaii.


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Eventually, Adam moves back to the mainland with his family. Critical reception for the Boy at War series has been mixed to positive, [3] [4] with Booklist and Publishers Weekly both giving the first book starred reviews. Reception for the second book, A Boy no More was more positive, with Stone Soup calling it "a captivating story about history that we should remember".