War Stories by Gordon Korman

War Stories by Gordon Korman
December 5, 2020 Alexandra Adlawan

Middle School

There are two things Trevor loves more than anything else: playing war-based video games and his great-grandfather Jacob, who is a true-blue, bona fide war hero. At the height of the war, Jacob helped liberate a small French village, and was given a hero’s welcome upon his return to America.
Now it’s decades later, and Jacob wants to retrace the steps he took during the war – from training to invasion to the village he is said to have saved. Trevor thinks this is the coolest idea ever. But as they get to the village, Trevor discovers there’s more to the story than what he’s heard his whole life, causing him to wonder about his great-grandfather’s heroism, the truth about the battle he fought, and importance of genuine valor.

 

The story is told through alternating time periods between Jacob’s war experiences and Trevor’s present day experiences.

 

In the beginning, Trevor idolizes and glorifies his great-grandfathers’ war experiences. After reading this story and seeing how Trevor’s view of war changed, I still don’t understand what he found so amazing about WWII. Maybe it’s because I’m overly empathic but I just have a hard time reading books or watching movies about war. Too many guns, too much blood, and too much sadness.

 

Even though this is a middle school book and everything is a bit downgraded, it’s not exactly sugarcoated either. This story paints a very realistic perspective of WWII. War is not amazing and there is no such things as a good one. If anything about war is amazing it’s that some people managed to survives. And judging from the story’s depiction on just how chaotic the war was, the only way anyone survived was through pure luck.

 

Through all my years of sitting in history classes, I could never wrap my mind around how wars or battles work. I think Calvin’s question here is what I had such a hard time understanding.

I’m with Calvin. What exactly is being accomplished with soldiers lying in the dirt shooting at each other? This is a point that Trevor’s dad (Jacob’s grandson) tries to makes throughout the story. That the world has to find a better way to live together instead of resorting to pointless destruction.

 

I’m going to be fully honest here, a majority of the story went over my head. There was a lot of army and war lingo that I didn’t understand.

 

As the saying goes, “You can’t throw a rock in a library without hitting a book about WWII”. This isn’t a real saying but it should be because it’s true. The whole world was involved. That’s a lot of people with stories from different angles and points of view. As long as stories can be pulled out from the bottomless well that is WWII, authors will never stop writing about it.

 

This weeks’ Weird but True Fact about World War II

During World War II, 3M – the company that makes scotch tape – produced over 100 different kinds of tape to help seal, hold, protect, and insulate military parts.

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