Heroes Don't Run by Harry Mazer, Paperback

Heroes Don't Run by Harry Mazer, Paperback

"I WANTED TO SERVE, TO BE PART OF THIS THING MY FATHER HAD GIVEN HIS LIFE FOR. I DIDN'T WANT THE WAR TO END, AND ALL I'D BE ABLE TO SAY WAS, NO I DIDN'T...

Product Details

ISBN-13:9781416933946
Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:02/06/2007
Series:Aladdin Historical Fiction Series
Edition description:Reprint
Pages:128
Sales rank:224,394
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:8 - 12 Years
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Overview

Heroes Don't Run by Harry Mazer

"I WANTED TO SERVE, TO BE PART OF THIS THING MY FATHER HAD GIVEN HIS LIFE FOR. I DIDN'T WANT THE WAR TO END, AND ALL I'D BE ABLE TO SAY WAS, NO I DIDN'T SERVE, I WAS RIGHT HERE THE WHOLE WAR, SAFE IN BAKERSFIELD."

Adam Pelko witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that killed his father, a lieutenant on the USS Arizona. Even though Adam is underage, he defies his mother's wishes and enlists in the Marines. Sent first to boot camp, then to Okinawa, he experiences the stark reality of war firsthand — the camaraderie and the glory as well as the grueling regimen, the paralyzing fear, and death. And at every turn, Adam must confront memories of his father.

In the concluding volume of his World War II trilogy, Harry Mazer masterfully illustrates Adam's journey as he navigates brutal circumstances that no boy should know.

Product Details

ISBN-13:9781416933946
Publisher:Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:02/06/2007
Series:Aladdin Historical Fiction Series
Edition description:Reprint
Pages:128
Sales rank:224,394
Product dimensions: 5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Harry Mazer is the author of many books for young readers, including Please, Somebody Tell Me Who I Am; My Brother Abe; the Boy at War trilogy; The Wild Kid; The Dog in the Freezer; The Island Keeper; and Snow Bound. His books have won numerous honors, including a Horn Book honor and an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults citation. Along with his wife, Norma Fox Mazer, Harry received an ALAN award in 2003 for outstanding contribution to adolescent literature. He lives in Montpelier, Vermont.

Read an Excerpt

Heroes Don't Run

A Novel of the Pacific War
By Harry Mazer

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Copyright © 2005 Harry Mazer
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0689855346

Chapter 1

In the summer of 1944, just before my senior year of high school, I took the train across country from Bakersfield, California, where we were living, to visit my grandfather in upstate New York. I hadn't seen him since before my father died at Pearl Harbor, and I told my mother that if things worked out I might stay and finish school there. My mother liked the idea. She thought I needed a man's influence.

What I didn't tell her was that I intended to join the marines as soon as I got to my grandfather's farm. He was an old soldier from World War I. He'd been wounded and lost his arm serving in the Austro-Hungarian army. His son -- my father -- had served too. He was a U.S. naval officer and died for our country. My grandfather would understand that I had to join up now, that I couldn't wait until next year when I was eighteen and didn't need anyone's permission. The war might be over by then.

"Good if it's over," my mother said. "Good. There's been enough sacrifice in this family. And if you have to go, you can wait until they call you, until your turn comes and you're drafted. Wait like everyone else, Adam. The war isn't going away that fast, anyway. We can only wish!"

But the war was going to end; that was the point. It had been going on for four years now, and people were saying it was only a matter of time before it was over. I'd break out in a sweat just thinking about it. I didn't want to be left behind. I wanted to serve, to be part of this thing my father had given his life for. I didn't want the war to end, and all I'd be able to say was, No I didn't serve, I was right here the whole war, safe in Bakersfield.

Living in Bakersfield, you'd never even know there was a war on. Yes, there was gas rationing and food stamps and Mom working in a war factory, but it was such a sleepy, sunny, boring place. One boring day was like the next. Hot summer days, and nights full of the sounds of insects. Bakersfield was killing me.

All I could think about was joining up. I'd wake up at night and feel my father right there in my attic room, in his navy whites, looking down at me in bed, wondering what kind of son of his I was. Saying, Up, up! Sign up. What are you waiting for, son?

When I told my mother I was going to visit my grandfather, my little sister, Bea, said, "I want to go see Grandpa too."

"No," I said. I was too sharp with her. Mom wasn't about to let Bea leave home at the age of seven, but I was so afraid my plan would get screwed up that I blurted out, "Just me!"

Bea's face swelled, and she ran out of the room. "Hey, Bea, I'm sorry." I went after her and tried to pick her up.

"Don't!" She was getting too big for that, anyway. "You're a drip, Adam!"

"Come on. Come on, don't be that way. You want to go for a walk?"

"Maybe I do and maybe I don't," she said.

We walked over to the playground, where I had to push her on the swing for as long as she wanted.

That night, after supper, I wrote to my friend Davi Mori. I had to tell somebody, and Davi was the one. He and I had talked about joining up for years now, ever since Pearl Harbor. Davi was in Manzanar, the internment camp way out on the other side of the Sierra Mountains.

Davi's whole family was there. They'd been interned along with other Japanese Americans who lived on the West Coast. It was a dirty deal. They hadn't done anything. It was the war, and they looked like the enemy, even though most of them had been born in this country.

Dear Davi,

No more talk. I'm ready. I'm going to do it. You said talk to my mom. I tried that, and she said what I told you she'd say, NO. No, she won't sign for me. I didn't get excited, I didn't start yelling. It was frustrating, but I was reasonable. You would have been proud of me. But my mom -- she was twice as reasonable. She's got reasons you wouldn't even dream of.

She's afraid I'm going to get hurt, that's what it comes down to. Well, so I'll get a Purple Heart. Wouldn't I like that!

What's my mother afraid of? I'm not going to get killed. Look what happened to you and me and Martin at Pearl Harbor when we were in the rowboat, and the Japanese bombers came, and they blew us out of the water. What happened? We got scratched up--well, worse than that for Martin--but we came through that okay. We're all still here. By the way, have you heard from big old Martin Kahahawai?

Next time you hear from me, I'll be in the marines.

Your friend,

Adam

Copyright © 2005 by Harry Mazer



Continues...


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