Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Phantoms in the Snow

Author: Kathleen Benner Duble
My recommended age: 11+
Their recommended age: 12+
Publisher: Scholastic Publishers
Number of pages: 226

Publisher’s description:
“In this gripping journey, a fifteen-year-old pacifist must decide what he believes as he faces the reality of World War II.
The year is 1944, and fifteen-year-old Noah Garrett's parents have died from smallpox. Without any other family nearby, Noah is sent to live with his uncle, whom he has never met, in Camp Hale, Colorado. There is one small problem with this decision: Noah has been raised a pacifist, and Camp Hale is a U.S. military base for a little-known division of winter warfare soldiers called Phantoms. Can a boy who's never seen snow and doesn't believe in war survive among these soldiers?
Noah's struggle to resolve his upbringing with the horrors of World War II into a way of life he can believe in takes him on an incredible and riveting journey from the training camp to the frontlines of battle. Based on historical events, the story of Noah and the Phantoms of the Tenth Mountain Division is one of courage and conviction, brotherhood, and the joy in living.”

My thoughts:
I don’t usually read books with a male main character, but this one’s cover grabbed me, and I loved what I read about the plot. So I got it.
Boy, am I glad I did.
Noah was pretty realistic, except I think the writer let some of her Female emotions creep into Noah at times; but the kid just lost his parents and has to go live with an Uncle he doesn’t even know, so emotion can be understood. The rest of the characters were easy to relate to, fun to know and overall realistic.
Daniel=love that poor guy.
Willey= Can anybody NOT like Willey?
Shelley= Tough army officer who is soft underneath.
Bill= Sweet guy with a girl back home.
Noah= overall real-to-life, fun, and very easy to relate too.
It was a very good read.

There was a good deal of language. Nothing REALLY bad, just your normal bad.
Noah had a lot of emotion for a guy.

Easy to relate to characters, even minor ones.
Good plot.
Easy read, so suitable for younger (11+) readers.

It’s the army. You’re going to have language. It isn’t your really bad stuff, but normal stuff. Like I said in cons.

Romance and sexual content:
Bill has a girl back home, but it isn’t really dwelled on. And is overall clean.
Shelley has a ‘woman’ who he ‘sees’ sometimes. I will say this was the biggest drawback to the book. But Dana (that is her name) is only in one scene and Noah talks about her in another. You don’t see or read about anything, but merely hints.

War. There isn’t a whole lot of descriptions, A certain somebody dies, and they say he was in a “pool of blood” but there isn’t anything gory and gross.

Drugs and drink:
I can’t remember anything.

Random Snippet:
“Is that fun, Noah? How’s that for fun?” Daniel Stultz shouted. “I had no idea,” Noah whispered. He looked over at the others, Wiley and Bill and Cam and Roger. They wouldn’t meet his eyes, and he knew in that moment that they had known about these horrors.
“Yeah,” Daniel said, “its real fun trying to get you idiots to think of something other than yourselves. its real fun hoping beyond hope that someone like you, Noah Garret, can help me get back there and get my family out before they die like that”-he pointed to the article-“Poisoned to death. So, yeah,” Daniel finished, “I’ve heard of fun. But right now, fun is something I can’t even think about until this war is over.” Then Daniel Stultz turned and walked away.
No one said a word. One by one, the boys began to drift back to their barracks as snow began to fall. For a long, long time, Noah stared at the gruesome newspaper picture in his hands.

NOW! {Drum roll please} for the review, well, first, let me do a sum up.
It has good plot, good idea as this is something I have never read about before in WW2 books. And I am now very intrigued. Mrs. Duble had a original idea here. Noah, yeah, he might’ve been a lil to emotional, but seeing what he went through, I can understand. I’ve already had my 11 YO brother read it, and it held his interest very well. I had no regrets about letting him read it.
So, for the rating:
Maybe 4 ½, but it will be 4 officially. 

Where you can buy it at:
Amazon has it for $13.49 and scholastic for $12.59

*I received this book from Scholastic Publishers.  I was neither paid nor made to do this, but did because I wanted to*

1 Reader views:

Anonymous said...

Eh, this actually doesn't look all this interesting to me for some reason...Good review, though. ;)

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