Tuesday 25 August 2020

War Stories - Gordon Korman

War Stories
Gordon Korman
eISBN 9781338290219

Over the last year my son and I have read about a dozen books by Gordon Korman. To date we have loved all the books we have read. And though some of them deal with series matters, there is always a humour to the storytelling. This story is different. It is much more serious. And is told in a very different way. 

This is a story about family. About war, about heroics, and about really being a hero. The story alternates back and forth from present day to the second World War. It follows a man, his grandson and his great grandson. Trevor loves the history of WWII, he loves that his Great Grand dad, GG was a hero. He loves war computer games, and he loves listening to his GG’s stories. When his GG, Jacob is invited back to a small French village to celebrate its liberation, for he is the last surviving member of the group that liberated it.

We join Trevor, his dad, and GG are retracing Jacob’s steps from the base where he did his basic training. To the beach he landed on. And his journey across Europe. But something is off. Trevor keeps seeing a blond at all their stops. And His dad and gramps know someone does not want him to go to the town. And thinks start escalating, a dead bird on their rental car, slashed tires, a rock through a window. How far will the activists go? And what is driving them. 

Interspersed with the recreation of the journey are the memories of Jacob’s actual time during the war. The two parts of the story fit together perfectly. We hear some stories that Jacob had told before. And because of the places, he is sharing new stories. Both his grandson and son realize the closer they get to the end of their journey the harder things seem to be for GG. 

This book does an excellent job of bring home the reality of war. Especially to younger readers whose main info about it is video games. The story is well written, and it is absolutely a page turner. I stayed up way too late reading, I just could not put it down. I devoured it in two sitting and am now reading it again with my son. 

This is a fascinating read, and a real page turner.  

Books by Gordon Korman:
MacDonald Hall Series:
The Wizzle War (1982)
         (formerly The War With Mr. Wizzle)
The Zucchini Warriors (1988)
Light’s Camera, Disaster (1991)
          (aka Macdonald Hall Goes Hollywood)
The Jokes on Us (1995)
          (formerly Something Fishy at Macdonald Hall)

Bugs Potter Series:

Jeremy Bloom Series:
The D−Poems of Jeremy Bloom (1992)
The Last-Place Sports Poems of Jeremy Bloom (1996)

Monday Night Football Series:
The Quarterback Exchange (1997)
Running Back Conversion (1997)
Super Bowl Switch (1997)
Heavy Artillery (1997)
Ultimate Scoring Machine (1998)
NFL Rules! Bloopers, Pranks, Upsets, and Touchdowns (1998)

Masterminds Series:

Slapshots Series:
The Stars From Mars (1999)
All-Mars All-Stars/The Dream Team (1999)
The Face-off Phony (2000)
Cup Crazy (2000)
Ouch I got slapped (2023)
4-in-1 Slapshots: The Complete Collection (2008)

Nose Pickers Series:
Nose Pickers from Outer Space! (1999)
Planet of the Nose Pickers (2000)
Your Mummy Is a Nose Picker (2000)
Invasion of the Nose Pickers (2001)
4-in-1 The Ultimate Nose-Picker Collection (2006)

Island Series:
Shipwreck (2001)
Survival (2001)
Escape (2001)
3-in-1 Island Trilogy Collection (2006)

Son of the Mob Series:
Son of the Mob 2: Hollywood Hustle (2004)

Everest Series:
The Contest (2002)
The Climb (2002)
The Summit (2002)
Everest Trilogy Box Set (2002)

Dive Series:
The Discovery (2003)
The Deep (2003)
The Danger (2003)

On the Run Series:
Now You See Them, Now You Don't (2005)
The Stowaway Solution (2005)
Public Enemies (2005)
Hunting the Hunter (2006)

Kidnapped Series:
The Search (2006)
The Rescue (2006)

Swindle Series:
Swindle (2008)
Zoobreak (2009)
Framed (2010)
Showoff (2012)
Hideout (2013)
Jackpot (2014)
Unleashed (2015)
Jingle (2016)

Titanic Series:
Unsinkable (2011)
Collision Course (2011)
S.O.S (2011)

The 39 Clues Series:
Vespers Rising (2011)
The Medusa Plot (2011)
Flashpoint (2014)

Hypnotists Series:
The Hypnotists (2013)
Memory Maze (2014)
The Dragonfly Effect (2015)

Ungifted Series:
Ungifted (2012)
Supergifted (2018)

Slacker Series:
Slacker (2016)
Level 13 (2019)

Non Series Books:
Radio 5th Grade (1989)
Losing Joe's Place (1990)
The Twinkie Squad (1992)
The Toilet Paper Tigers (1993)
Why Did the Underwear Cross the Road (1994)
The Chicken Doesn't Skate (1996)
No More Dead Dogs (2000)
Maxx Comedy: The Funniest Kid in America (2003)
Jake, Reinvented (2003)
Born To Rock (2006)
Schooled (2007)
Pop (2009)
Restart (2017)
Notorious (2019)
War Stories (2020)
Game On (contains The Chicken Doesn’t Skate and The Toilet Paper Tigers (2021)
Unplugged (2021)
Linked (2021)
The Fort (2022)

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