From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up–An engrossing and thought-provoking story of a young man fighting in World War I. Upon learning of his brother's death at the German front, 16-year-old Edward Bathe lies about his age and enlists, leaving Canada and his father's farm for England. When he injures himself training a horse, he meets Emily Waters, an army nurse. Their relationship progresses through letters when Emily transfers to the front. A move from the infantry to the yeomanry starts Edward's war in earnest, but his plans to avenge his brother's death are altered when he is sent to Palestine to fight the Turks. Soldiers die from the heat and disease, horses fall in action, and friends die in battle. The young man's faith in God and in humanity are shaken, and he returns to Canada injured in body and spirit. All of the characters are fully realized, from Edward, a church-going innocent, to his Uncle Nix, a friend of the family and an army colonel who spouts platitudes about people in the Empire having to dig in and give but who honestly believes what he says. Edward's camaraderie with his tent mates keeps him reasonably sane until he discovers that one of them enjoys killing. Megiddo's Shadow
is the perfect book to have on hand for the ever-popular historical-fiction assignment, but don't purchase it for only that reason. Buy it because it is a powerful book that needs to be read.–Lisa Prolman, Greenfield Public Library, MA
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After his older brother is killed in World War I, a devastated 16-year-old Edward cares for the family farm while his depressed father lays mute in bed. In his pain and anger, Edward vows to continue his brother's fight and help defeat the Huns. Lying about his age, he enlists in the Canadian army and is shipped to England to embark on his tour of duty. There he is transferred to a cavalry unit destined to fight the Turks and begins a tentative romance with a young nurse. Edward's coming-of-age story culminates in the plains near Megiddo, the ruins of King Solomon's city, where it is said Armageddon will take place and Satan will "climb out of hell and gather his armies." Slade skillfully integrates the plot-driven war narrative with the more psychological underpinning of loss: loss of a loved one and loss of innocence. A solid addition to teen war fiction, this book expands the comparatively small body of realistic World War I novels for this age group. Holly KoellingCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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