Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Dead in the Water (2014)

Dead in the Water. (World War II #2) Chris Lynch. 2014. Scholastic. 188 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Dead in the Water is a companion book to the Right Fight. Both books are new 2014 releases. Both books feature baseball-loving heroes. In The Right Fight, readers meet oh-so-briefly two brothers: Hank and Theo.

The book opens with both brothers ready to join the Navy. However, only Hank ends up serving in the Navy. Their parents feel strongly that Theo should serve his country elsewhere. If both sons were stationed on the same ship, and it went down, they'd be devastated. That is their reasoning, for better or worse. So Theo enlists in the Army Air Service. This book barely mentions Theo again after the boys ship out. (We do get one letter from Theo, I believe.) This is Hank's story. (Will Theo get his own story later?)

Hank is assigned to the USS Yorktown, an aircraft carrier sailing in the Pacific. He is an airedale. The book chronicles his time on ship and off. He makes a few friends among the pilots. He makes one good friend among the mess attendants. He becomes close to a mess attendant named Bradford who played in the Negro League. He is a much better ball player than Hank, this is very hard for Hank to admit, and I'm not sure he ever does. But Bradford teaches or coaches him, and the two bond over the love of the game. Readers can also discern that life isn't easy for Bradford, that prejudice is a problem.

There is plenty of action in this one. If you know what happened to the real USS Yorktown, you can guess how this ends.

I liked this one. I think both books do a good job of balancing characterization with action. I feel Hank was fully developed. It was easy for me to care not only for Hank but for his whole family. I especially liked his sister, Susie.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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