Hideki, an Okinawan boy, is only in middle-school. But he's drafted into the "Blood and Iron Imperial Corps" to fight for the Japanese in World War II. Hideki's handed two grenades and sent off into the jungle, with instructions to kill an American. Meanwhile, Ray, a young American soldier, is landing on the Okinawan beach with his company. From opposite sides of the war, the two boys see unwarranted violence, and escape danger at every turn. But what will happen when they encounter each other in the middle of the jungle? Could it change the course of the Battle of Okinawa?
For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Alan Gratz brings his trademark impeccable research and cinematic writing style to the Pacific theater of WWII.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published on August 28, 2018 by Scholastic Press
ISBN-10: 1338245694
ISBN-13: 9781338245691
3 Book Reviews
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  • 13iamgroot
    13iamgrootThursday, October 31, 2019 at 4:11 pm55 starsFeatured
    I really love the author of this book, Alan Gratz, because he writes wonderful historical fiction stories on hard topics, like wars, refugees, and depression, but he tells the truth and doesn't play it down like most books for kids. When you read his novels you just have to expect that there will be violence and sadness, but once you finish one of his books, you will be changed and more aware of the problems we still have on our earth, and you will want to help solve them, that is how impactful Gratz's books are. This particular book is about the American invasion of Okinawa in World War 2 and is told from two characters perspectives, one from each side of the war. It follows the progress of Ray and Hideki as they travel across the island of Okinawa through the war, seeing many things they never thought they would see in their life. Hideki is an Okinawan and was drafted into the "Blood and Iron Student Corps" and with only about two days of "training" the Americans arrived and he is given two grenades and the instructions "Don't come back until you've killed an American soldier." Ray is an American Marine who ran away from home to join the army, but it is not anything how he imagined it. He arrives on the island with a gun and an over-sized helmet and is told "Stay low, don't bunch up, and run." They learn many things about themselves and others as they make their way through the battlefield and the wreckage that ensues. They start to question what they have been told by others and make many decisions that they regret afterwards. I cannot even put into words how wonderful this book is, it raises awareness on all sorts of topics that aren't usually even mentioned in most books for kids. It had a wonderful message though it may seem a little violent or harsh at first. I would recommend this to 7th or 8th grade and up, since it does have lots of violence, but even if you may not like it even from the first few chapters, I encourage you to keep reading to the end, because I guarantee that you will put the book down and say, "I am glad that I kept reading that book."
    • seanyboi
      seanyboiWednesday, August 28, 2019 at 8:38 am55 stars
      This is a good book about 2 different people. If you like historical fiction, and war books, you need to check this out! Im not a big fan of reading and i still read this book
      • inmemoryofcpr
        inmemoryofcprTuesday, May 21, 2019 at 5:53 pm11 star
        So I saw a list that said if you liked the book The Bicycle Spy then you should read this...blah... blah... and the book Grenade was on it so I decided to read it. I was so disappointed in it. The author could have done so many other things in the story. Like when Ray suddenly just disappeared from the story. That's like cutting in half of a story. You need to see both opinions not just one. I didn't really like this book but I would recommend The Bicycle Spy.