Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Right Fight by Chris Lynch

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Obtained from: Historical Novel Review
Read: March 8, 2014

The author of the acclaimed Vietnam series sets his sights on World War II. There are few things Roman loves as much as baseball, but his country is at the top of the list. So when it looks like the United States will be swept up into World War II, he turns his back on baseball and joins the US Army. Roman doesn't mind. As it turns out, he is far more talented with a tank than he ever was with a baseball. And he is eager to drive his tank right into the field of battle, where the Army is up against the fearsome Nazis of the Afrika Korps. The North African terrain is like nothing Roman has ever known, and desert warfare proves brutal. As Roman drives his team deeper into disputed territory, one thing becomes very clear: Life in wartime is a whole new ball game.

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Baseball is life for professional ball player Roman Bucyk, but love for his country prompts him to trade his uniform for military issue khaki and ship out as part of the African front to fight the German Afrika Korps in Algeria and Tunisia during WWII.

Geared for readers aged ten to fourteen, The Right Fight is a fairly straightforward piece that combines the history of the US campaign in North Africa with more abstract concepts like patriotism, death, loss and loyalty. Though I usually gravitate towards more complex narratives, I actually enjoyed Lynch’s treatment of the material and the authenticity of his story, but was most impressed with his ability to give a multifaceted face to the war through Roman, Pacifico, Wyatt, Hannah, Logan and Cowens. 

A strong and appealing young adult historical, The Rigth Fight sets a high standard for future installments of Lynch’s WWII series.  

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"Now?" I say. "Now I drive you to the field hospital and turn you in. Your mission is accomplished, and you are going home, my friend."
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