Rhonda Cratty’s review of Ken’s War –
With video and computer games, sports, and life, how do parents and teachers get a boy interested in reading a book? It needs to be full of action from the start, have a well-defined relatable character, as well as a plot that hooks the reader. Ken’s War by B. K. Fowler is a book that teenaged boys would get so involved in that they will choose to sit and read.
Chapter One begins “Between Purgatory and Hell ” and that is just the title. Fowler immediately grabs the reader’s attention with, “Everything was going wrong in Ken Paderson’s life. He was supposed to be practicing for his driver’s permit.” By the end of the first page the reader is drawn into Ken Paderson’s world. He and his father are moving to Japan because his father, who is in the military, has been reassigned. Ken and his father have issues, there has been a fight with his father’s commanding officer’s son, he has a broken arm and they are on an U.S. Army transport plane -in the Vietnam era.
Soon he finds himself on the remote post on Kyushu. Ken struggles with culture shock as his thoughts and beliefs are challenged. B. K. Fowler challenges the reader’s thinking through the way Ken makes sense out of his new world. How he thinks about friends and allegiance, enemies and duplicity.
Ken’s War is not just about the Vietnam war, which is always in the background. It is also about the personal war raging inside Ken as he tries to make the journey from teenager to young man.
A journey filled with lots of action, a Japanese girl, a budding but forbidden relationship, misfits, lessons in martial arts, even baths at the communal bath house.
Through it all, Ken struggles with the normal teenage difficulties, finally, coming to empathize with others around him, including his father, and to see the world through other’s eyes.
B. K. Fowler writes in depth of the time, area, as well through a teenage eye that comes through on every page.
Ken’s War would be a wonderful gift to encourage reading and difficult conversation. Ken’s struggles make him a good model for boys and young men. Ken’s War by B. K. Fowler is a well written action packed book, sure to help the teen boy in your life get interested in reading.
-Learning at home by Rhonda Cratty is a parent resource, filled with ideas to help children become the best they can be. Daily activities for family fun, that make subjects become more than pencil and paper, moving learning into everyday life. Learning at home can be purchased in print ($8.48) or eBook($4.48) form through http://www.amazon.com/dp/1494917203
For more information please see http://famfunlearn.com/.