B for Buster and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading B for Buster on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

B for Buster [Mass Market Paperback]

Iain Lawrence


Available from these sellers.


Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover --  
Mass Market Paperback --  
Join Amazon Student in Canada


Book Description

Jan. 10 2006
Nicknamed after his hometown of Kakabeka, Canada, Kak dreams of flying with the Allied bombers in World War II. So at 16, underage and desperate to escape his abusive parents, he enlists in the Canadian Air Force. Soon he is trained as a wireless operator and sent to a squadron in England, where he’s unabashedly gung ho about flying his first op. He thinks the night ops over Germany will be like the heroic missions of his favorite comic-book heroes. Good will vanquish evil. But his first time out, in a plane called B for Buster, reveals the ops for what they really are—a harrowing ordeal.

The bombing raids bring searchlights . . . artillery from below . . . and night fighters above hunting to take the bombers down. One hit, Kak knows, and B for Buster, along with him and his six crewmates, could be destroyed.

Kak is terrified.

He can’t confide his feelings to his crew, since he’s already worried that they’ll find out his age. Besides, none of them seem afraid. Only in Bert, the slovenly caretaker of the homing pigeons that go on every op, does Kak find an unlikely friend. Bert seems to understand what the other men don’t talk about—the shame, the sense of duty, and the paralyzing fear. As Kak seeks out Bert’s company, he somehow finds the strength to face his own uncertain future.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf; Reprint edition (Jan. 10 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440238102
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440238102
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 14.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #823,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up–Filled with Buck Rogers-inspired dreams of heroic battles against the forces of evil and partly to escape an abusive, alcoholic father, 16-year-old Kak lies about his age to enlist in the Canadian Air Force in 1943. He becomes a wireless operator, flying night bombing raids over Germany from a base in Yorkshire. His fellow crew members on the antiquated Halifax bomber, B for Buster, have no idea Kak is underage, but his secret is well known to squadron member Donny Lee, another native of tiny Kakabeka. Before his own final flight, Donny urges Kak to reveal his age to their CO and be sent home, but the teen refuses, unable to imagine the overwhelming fear and terrifying dreams he will experience after his first mission. Kak's one solace is his growing friendship with Bert, the caretaker of the homing pigeons that are sent along on every op to carry back news of the fates of any bombers that don't return. One pigeon becomes Kak's good-luck companion. The pigeoneer's own secret past gives him a particularly deep empathy for Kak's fears and efforts to comprehend the nature of bravery and duty. Just as he did so masterfully in Lord of the Nutcracker Men (Delacorte, 2001), Lawrence captures the eagerness and idealism of the new recruit slowly turning to disillusionment and horror as he experiences the grim realities of battle and death. This is a lyrical coming-of-age novel and a fascinating bit of aviation history.–Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-12. Set during the spring of 1943, Lawrence's novel is a harrowing account of combat told from the perspective of 16-year-old Kak. Like Jack in Harry Mazer's The Last Mission (1979), Kak lies about his age in order to join the air force. But Jack, a Jewish American, wants to fight Hitler; Kak, nicknamed for his tiny Canadian hometown, just wants to flee his loveless, abusive parents and "like Captain Marvel . . . change [himself] from a boy to a hero." After his first "op," though, Kak is deeply shaken. Bert, who cares for the pigeons, finds a way to comfort the boy by putting a prize pigeon in his care. The dense mechanical specifics of planes and equipment may slow some readers, but the tender lessons of courage that Kak learns from Bert and his bird are captivating. In Kak's young, raw voice, Lawrence writes a gripping, affecting story about the thrill of flying, the terrifying realities of war, and the agony of reconciling personal fears and ideals with duty and bravery. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.ca
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Boy And His Bird March 17 2005
By Kevin Killian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Young Kak is only sixteen when he runs away from home, pretends he's an orphan, and winds up far away from his native Canada overseas in the wilds of Yorkshire (England) on an air base preparing to train for the flight crew of a Halifax bomber. The first man he runs into is someone from his home town, Donny Lee, the only one in England who might guess his secret--that he is underage.

Thus the novel depends on an amazing coincidence which cripples its credibility right at the start. However, once that nonsense is out of the way, we get a tender and yet exciting war story about the relationship between a flight crew and their pigeon. Yes, you heard me right, apparently before each sortie over occupied Europe a homing pigeon was brought on board and used for all sorts of things, but in Kak's case, little Percy, exquisitely described by teacher Lawrence, becomes his only friend. At first Kak is turned off by Bert, the pigeoneer, dirty and messy, slovenly and fragrant, butb then when he finds out Bert's "back story" he becomes more sympathetic, if horrified. Because there but for the Grace of God went he himself.

All the boys in the flight crew carry a lucky charm of some sort; one carries a handkerchief doused with a woman's perfume somewhere on his body, and young Kak wears a ring with a ray-gun on it. He is a comics fan and loves SUPERMAN and BUCK ROGERS. The epilogue reveals that all of this story was based on reality, and it is Lawtence's tribute to the brave Canadian boys who went to war against the Nazi menace.

I didn't realize this was a book meant for kids, but it did strike me as improbable the ultra clean language of these bombadiers. About the raciest thing any of them says is "Wheezy jeezy,"--oh, and one of the British speakers under extreme provocation exclaims, "What a bloody balls-up." Outside of that, dialogue is not Iain Lawrence's forte, but he is such a good storyteller that you will forgive him such primness.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars B For Buster review Jan. 2 2005
By matt s - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Desperate to escape from a negligent home with an alcholic father, 16 year old Kak lies about his age and enlists in the Canadian Army. He expects it to be like the adventures of his favorite comicbook heroes, where good vanquish's evil and after it's over everything is going to be fine. After his first op in a plane that has had almost every part of it reparied, he realizes that the ops are really terrifing and he finds himself scared to even get back on the plane. He finds himself befriending the pigeoneer and finds comfort in talking to him and spending time with the pigeons. Kak cant keep this up forever and after his friend from his hometown dies he realizies what can hapen to him or his crew at any time. Even though it started out slow, I thought this was very well writen and anyone who enjoys reading books about World War II should pick up "B For Buster".
4.0 out of 5 stars A flight into terror and bravery Feb. 3 2006
By LonestarReader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
B For Buster is a WWII story of courage and duty. Kak has lied about his age and traveled half way around the world from Canada to be part of a Bomber Command squadron in Yorkshire. His excitement and dreams of glory are viewed with weary dismay by the veterans.

The Halifax bomber, B For Buster is battered and patched together. Nobody can tell them what happened to the previous crew, the flight engineer landed the plane and then died in the cockpit; the rest of the crew just vanished. In one of the eeriest scenes, Kak visits the plane at night and suddenly encounters the ghosts of the previous crew.

Their first op over Germany is a flight into terror. As in all young-man-at-war novels, Kak comes to fully understand the horror of war and has to face the draining fear that overtakes him on every operation.

As the wireless/radio operator, Kak is responsible for the crew's pigeon. Homing pigeons were carried on the planes as a "last resort" communication device. Bert, the disheveled and generally despised pigeoneer takes a liking to the boy and Kak finds refuge from fear working with him in the pigeon loft. His special bond with Bert's prize pigeon, Percy, becomes his salvation when Bert allows him to take Percy along on their missions. In his mind, Percy is a talisman of good luck that will protect the crew and Kak is able to do his duty and fly.

Lawrence accurately captures the danger, the fear and the anguish the fliers faced with each sortie. We can only respect their real bravery as they did the job that was asked of them.

In the excellent author's note at the end I learned about the Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. Thirty two pigeons have received this award. Lawrence gives additional history on Bomber Command and the uneasy choices that had to be made trying to balance the safety of the crews against the accuracy of the bombing runs.
5.0 out of 5 stars Dramatic adventure set during World War II Sept. 10 2004
By Teen Reads - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Kak is desperate for a chance to get away from the dark presence of his family and create a brighter future for himself. The one chance for him, Kak decides, is to enlist in the Canadian Air Force. By doing so, he hopes to become a part of the Allied bombers during WWII. He dreams of showing off the honor of being a hero to his hometown of Kakabeka. Kak has one little secret, though --- he's only sixteen.

He is trained as a wireless operator and sent to a squadron in England. It is the spring of 1943 and the war is still going strong. When Kak arrives at an airfield in Yorkshire, his secret is immediately put to the test. His fellow hometown schoolmate, Donny Lee, is stationed at the airfield and is shocked to see Kak walk into the mess hall. Donny threatens to expose Kak's secret in order to save Kak's life, but relents when he sees how desperate his young friend is.

Kak meets his commanding officer, Uncle Joe, and is assigned to B for Buster. B for Buster is an old Halifax Mk 1 that has seen better in its day, but is considered reliable just the same. When his crew is taken to their assigned hut, they realize just what Buster has seen by the scarce number of occupied cots in the hut. The next day, they go on their first test flight in B for Buster, and Kak is chilled by the story of the Halifax's previous crew.

While they are gearing up for their first op, Lofty, the plane's pilot, goes on a "passenger trip" with another plane. The almost twenty-year-old is considered to be an adult by Kak and wants to be a bush pilot after the war. Buzz, the mid-upper gunner for Buster, is a former railway worker whose only goal in life, it seems, is to complete a crossword puzzle he cut out from a newspaper on his first day in England. Will, the navigator, would rather write poetry than study law, and Simon, the loud Australian, is the loudest gardener Kak has ever met. Ratty, the mysterious American, would like to see Berlin, and Pop, the flight engineer, just wants to make it home safely.

Time goes by and Donny Lee takes Kak for a ride out into the surrounding countryside. They take Donny's old black Morris automobile and Kak experiences just how crazy a ride it can be. But that's nothing compared to what it can be when a crew of seven ride in it, as Kak has witnessed before. The two schoolmates bond over stories of their hometown, and Donny tries once again to talk Kak into quitting the air force while he has the chance. Kak is excited about flying, though, and the ride that day seems to foreshadow the many dramatic changes that lie ahead.

Then the day finally comes, and B for Buster is called on for its first op. Kak is excited and feels as though it will be like a comic-book adventure where good beats evil. He is even a little too sure of himself, when he is given the task of watching over the homing pigeon that has been assigned to the op and is rude to the kind dismal pigeoneer named Dirty Bert. Kak is in for a reality check, however, when he experiences his first of many frightening flights and finds the outcast pigeoneer as one of the only friends who seems to understand him and his fears.

B FOR BUSTER is a dramatic adventure set during one of the greatest times in history. I recommend this book to anyone who has studied World War II and would like to read fiction set during that time period, as well as to those who enjoy reading dramatic novels. I thought it captured the importance of animals, specifically homing pigeons, and the various roles they take during wartime very well. Told through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old boy, B FOR BUSTER shows readers the excitement of being a hero and the grim realities they face.

--- Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle (SdarksideG@aol.com)
5.0 out of 5 stars A World War II Story May 21 2006
By Evan Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
" We tumbled down in a circle of fire, corkscrewing down to the ground. I could see my parachute but couldn't reach it." This is a quote from the book B for Buster written by Iain Lawrence. B for Buster is a book about a 16 year old boy named Kak who lies about his age to join the Canadian Air Force during World War II. Kak soon finds himself in England where he becomes the radio operator on an old Air Force bomber called B for Buster. Kak is terrified and discovers very early that the Air Force is not at all what he thought it would be. He realizes that he made a terrible mistake enlisting.

I really enjoyed this book. Although it is fiction, I think it accurately portrays the feelings and experiences of bomber crews during World War II. The book is filled with action and suspense and I didn't want to stop reading. If you like books about World War II, this is a book for you. I give it a five star rating.

Look for similar items by category


Feedback