Saturday, 21 March 2015

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

Ghosts of War is a new middle grade series from Scholastic, Inc. A twist of mystery, historical fiction, and middle school drama, these books are aimed at middle grade boys with an interest in war fiction. The series stars a trio of friends who meet a ghost and help him remember his mortal life and solve the mystery of his death.

Summary: In the basement of his family’s junkshop, Anderson and his friends Greg and Julie discover a trunk full of old military stuff. Including a battered navy peacoat from World War II, and when Anderson puts it on he finds a mysterious letter in the pocket. Curious, he takes the coat and letter home. But that’s not all he brings home...

Later that evening the ghost of a World War II sailor appears in Anderson’s room. Anderson is completely freaked out. Who is the ghost and why hasn’t he crossed over? But most importantly, what does he want with Anderson?

This is a content-free, fast-paced read about an important moment in history. Readers learn about a famous US naval battle without feeling like history is being shoved down their throats. While there is talk of gunfire, death, and violence between the Japanese and American forces, it's not at all graphic or frightening.

Overall, it's a solid middle grade read that offers an educational bonus that parents and educators can feel good about. A second book in the series is forthcoming in April!

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