Friday, November 4, 2022

Review of "Ghosts of War: The Secret of Midway," by Steve Watkins

 Review of

Ghosts of War: The Secret of Midway, by Steve Watkins, ISBN 9780545665858

Five out of five stars

Quality history lesson wrapped in ghost story

 In the history of World War II in the Pacific theater, there is no question which battle was the turning point. It took place on June 4-7 in 1942 and some have called it the “most decisive battle in the history of naval warfare.“ In the span of only a few hours, the power of the Japanese navy to project air power from carriers was largely destroyed. Not only did they lose four carriers, but the planes, pilots and highly trained crews could not be replaced.

 Anderson and his friends Greg and Julie want to conduct the practice of their makeshift band in the basement of the junk shop of Anderson’s family. While rearranging for space in a room, they open an old trunk and find memorabilia of a sailor in World War II. The act of removing a navy peacoat from the trunk triggers a supernatural event where the ghost of a long-dead sailor appears. An old letter from the sailor is found in the peacoat and that leads the three friends to the person the letter was addressed to. While doing that, they learn a great deal about the battle of Midway and the consequences.

 This story has many features, a sound history lesson on the battle of Midway, the human cost of war when men leave home and their friends and lovers to fight and die in war and the general trials and tribulations of being a teen in the modern world. All of these features are put together very well in order to make a great book for young adults.

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