Top positive review
Good fiction WWII book
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on February 9, 2016
Dean Hughes’ Soldier Boys is one of a set of war time stories that he has written. Soldier Boys is a story set in the World War II era and is about two young boys that are eager to be involved in the war. Dieter is a Bavarian farm boy that is a devoted member of the German Hitler Youth and Spencer is an American farm boy from Utah that drops out of school and convinces his parents to sign his papers so that he can enter into the service early. Both boys have great pride in wanting to serve their country in taking down the evil opposition, not knowing the trials and tribulations that lay ahead for them both. The book follows both boys through their training and movement into the battlefields showing their emotions and actions as they descend into the reality of war. Throughout the story both boys overcome obstacles all the while sticking to their beliefs and promises that lead to a heart wrenching turn of events at the end of the story.
This book is well written and reflects what I perceive the war was really like. For Example, young American boys wanted to go to war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and Hitler brainwashed the youth of Germany convincing them they where defending their homeland against aggressors trying to restrain the Germans economy and wellbeing. Once the boys are involved in the war they loose the glamorous view of war and come to the grim reality of war, losing friends and comrades along the way. They both also come to terms with what battles are really like, with the strategies, actions of the soldiers involved, the reality of how lives are taken in battle, and the aftermath of battles fought. By the end of the book it shows how the boys are impacted by the war, how the death of a soldier in battle affects the family and his community, and the challenges that the surviving soldier faces after returning from battle.
Soldier Boys was well written and I would recommend it to anyone over the age of twelve that is interest in World War II history. It gives a chronological account of the boys’ lives over the time period of the war. It gives the reader background on how the families felt about the war and their boys going off to war. It shows the expectations of the boys through training and their assignments that they had to undertake to allow them to get to the front lines. The story shows the unexpected situations that happen in battle that are cultivated from the hatred of the soldiers that they are fighting against. It shows how the soldiers that live have to deal with things that happened that were out of their control, things that should have never happened. The fact that soldiers who die being heroes sometimes don’t get all of the recognition that they deserve. It is an enjoyable story of history, pride, and the reality of war.