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2015 Nominee
Voted 8 out of 20

Kid Soldier

By Jennifer Maruno. Published in 2013 by Dundurn

Fatherless and penniless, fifteen-year-old Richard Fuller wants a bike, so Mr. Black, the baker hires him to help with deliveries. Mr. Black entertains him with army stories and teaches him Morse code. He invites Richard to attend the opening ceremonies of the local 1939 military camp. Infatuated with army life, Richard takes part in Army training camp under an assumed name. When war looms, he makes the most impulsive decision in his life and enlists.

He travels to England, witnesses the terror of the Battle of Britain, the horrible death of a German pilot, is caught in the London Blitzkrieg, and is wounded himself. When his true age is discovered, Richard faces a possible court-martial.

Will Richard’s desire for adventure lead to disaster so early in his life?

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2 thoughts on “Kid Soldier

  1. Alice Jamieson Girls' Academy

    This book is intended for students older than grade 4 and 5. We found it hard to get into and didn’t understand a lot of what was going on.

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  2. Hillhurst School

    RMBA#3- “Kid Soldier” By Jennifer Maruno
    “Kid soldier” is an insightful, two hundred and eight page book that shares the story of a fifteen year old boy named Richard, yearning to join the army after stories shared by relatives and friends. After getting invited to the opening ceremonies of the 1939 military camp, Richard is engulfed in the thrill of the experiences and undergoes training camp under an assumed name. After finishing the training camp, Richard is caught in the situation of joining the army or not, eventually joining and making the most impulsive decision in his life. After traveling to London to fight in the battle of Britain, Richard witnesses the terror of a bombing raid, injuring himself badly. Waking up from his injury, Richard finds himself in a hospital bed, where he finds out that one of his comrades was dead. Badly injured and bruised Richard is discharged, only to find that he was too young to fight in the war now facing a court case.
    In my opinion I really enjoyed how Jennifer Maruno presented the scenes, rather than just telling her readers what to think, helping in the enjoyment of the reader as well as helping in pulling her readers in. An example of this was when Richard was in his training camp. Jennifer Maruno really showed the thoughts that Richard had when he was training as well as giving great detail for each scenario, in my opinion making it the best book out of the bunch. By pulling in her readers, I find that it made me want to keep reading and not put the book down till I was done, allowing the introduction of the character and plot to fold out. From my perspective I find that the start of books are always boring, making me want to stop reading immediately because of how they have no action. Although I can say that “kid soldier’s” start was kind of boring, from it’s un significant people to it’s over detailed start I think it makes it up with its detail and precision on each chapter. An example of this was when Jennifer Maruno presented the scenes of introducing Richard, introducing him with his personality and likes/dislikes. Through doing that it allowed the story to have a better flow to it due to the fact that you understand all the characters and know their certain personalities.
    In conclusion I think that Jennifer Maruno is a great author that deserves the Rocky Mountain Book Award title, because of her astounding detail as well as her amazing skill to show the story rather than tell it. I would recommend this book to anyone in the world just because of how it gives you a perspective of the war as well as helping in your understanding of the motives and consequences of joining the army. Another reason why I think that “kid soldier” is an outstanding book is because of how Jennifer Maruno created a well-organized setting, expressing it with precise detail but not too much to bore the reader.

    -Ben

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