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Scholastic, Incorporated, Oct 9, 2018 - Juvenile Fiction - 288 pages
2 Reviews

Here it is! The hugely anticipated follow-up to Gratz's NYT bestselling, critically acclaimed phenomenon REFUGEE. This is another searing and heart-pounding look at kids making their way through war.

It's 1944 and the world is at war. Hideki lives peacefully with his family on the island of Okinawa, near Japan. Until the day WWII reaches their door.

Hideki is drafted into the "Blood and Iron Imperial Corps" to fight for the Japanese army. He is handed two grenades and a set of instructions: go off into the jungle, and don't come back until you've killed an American soldier.

Meanwhile, young American soldier Ray Majors has just landed on the beach in Okinawa. He doesn't know what to expect, or if he'll make it out alive, but he knows he must keep moving forward.

From opposite sides of the war, Hideki and Ray each fight their way through horrors and dangers. But when the two of them encounter each other in the middle of the battle, the choices they make in that single moment will change everything.

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User Review  - alsparks324 -

Hideki is an Okinawan boy. Ray is an American soldier. They are caught on the island of Okinawa during WWII. The Japanese are trying to hold the Americans back. Hideki is recruited as a "civilian ... Read full review


User Review  -

“One grenade is for the American monsters coming to kill your family.... You are to use the other grenade to kill yourself.” These are the orders that Hideki, a 13-year-old Okinawan student ... Read full review

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About the author (2018)

Grenade in one hand, rubber striking cap in the other, he took a deep breath and ducked into the bushes at the top of the hill. He crept forward until he could see over the ridge.

The dirt path below him was lined with American vehicles. Gray trucks filled with soldiers. Enormous clanking green things with cannons on top and treads for wheels. Open-topped jeeps pulling giant guns on trailers. There were scores of them. They kept coming around the bend in the road. And kept coming and coming.

Hideki ducked deeper into the thicket, afraid they would see him. His hands shook. How was this possible? How had the American devils been able to get so many vehicles past the Japanese defenses? Hideki had seen more automobiles on that road in five minutes than there had been in all of Okinawa before the war.

Hideki's shaking fear crystallized into a hard knot in his stomach, and he knew what he had to do. He had to take out one of those trucks with a grenade. This was his moment. This was his fate. He stood up, fully exposed if any of the soldiers in the trucks had bothered to look up at him, and got ready to strike the match-like fuse on his grenade.

For the Emperor, Hideki told himself. For Japan. For my family.

Hands grabbed Hideki and pulled him back into the bushes before he could activate his grenade. Hideki turned around. It was Yoshio!

"What are you doing?!" Hideki cried.

"The Americans -- they're close by!" Yoshio told him.

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