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Heroes Don't Run: A Novel of the Pacific War Paperback – February 6, 2007


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Heroes Don't Run: A Novel of the Pacific War + A Boy No More (Aladdin Historical Fiction) + A Boy at War: A Novel of Pearl Harbor
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 113 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (February 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416933948
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416933946
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #294,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5-9–In this final entry in a trilogy about a boy coming of age during World War II, Mazer shows how his hero handles actual military service. The book brings a sense of completion to Adam Pelko's story, which began in Honolulu just before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Determined to fight as a Marine, Adam, now 17, talks his grandfather into letting him enlist, although he knows his mother will be furious. Boot camp, with its indignities and hardships, is vividly portrayed, and when Adam arrives in the Pacific arena as a full-fledged soldier, Mazer does a good job of depicting the mind-numbing slog of war. More realistic than many novels about combat for this audience, violence is present without being glorified or unrealistically softened. Adam's first-person narrative brings immediacy to his experiences, but most of the other soldiers and civilians lack focus. Characters who were important in previous titles stay mostly offstage, making it possible to appreciate this offering without reading the others. A historical note covers the basic facts for those wanting to know more. A quick, action-packed read.–Carol A. Edwards, Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO
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. 7-10. In the final part of Adam Pelko's story, which began with A Boy at War (2001) and continued in A Boy No More (2004), Adam, now 17, lies about his age so that he can join the marines in 1944. Mazer did the same thing (though he served in Europe), and much of the power of this novel lies in the factual details, first of rough boot-camp training and then of battle. This novel stands alone, but readers familiar with the previous books can't help but recognize Adam's haunting sorrow about his dad, killed at Pearl Harbor, and his longing for his distant Japanese American friend. The climax is the brutal battle with the Japanese on Okinawa ("We had to kill every one of them"), where Adam is wounded and sees comrades killed. A note fills in some background history. The clear first-person narrative is terse and gripping, graphic about the slaughter and heartfelt about the loss. Readers older than the target audience may also want to read this hard-hitting, heroic story. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

It's a great coming-of-age story, and I recommend it.
M. Heiss
I recommend this book to anyone interested war stories and action books (This book was read by my 11 year old son.
FarmerRicky
His grandpa served as well and suffered the loss of his left arm.
Mrs. Wilson-Tucker's Reading Classes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By JB on June 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The first two books of this series "A Boy at War" and "A Boy No More" were decent but didn't grab my intrest that well! "Heroes Don't Run" is a spectacular ending or "trilogy" to this series of books! This was one of those books were I had a very hard time putting it down!

The main character "Adam Pelko" goes behind his mother's back and joins the marines! While he is at boot camp he sometimes questions his decision of joining the military. The battle scenes are graphic but not too bloody so I think this book would be good for younger people once again!

The ending is also very good because you can feel the happiness and pride Adam has when he returns home!

The very back of the book also has a summary of the Pacific War with Japan.

I hope my review was helpful to you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B. Conner on February 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This World War II experience is told through the eyes of a 17 year old boy who wishes to enlist in the Marines because both his grandfather and father fought in a war. Because his father died at Pearl Harbor, his mother will not sign for him join, so he goes to his grandfather and talks him into it. He then tells his story of a young boy going through bootcamp and war. Along the way he learns about friendship, fear, respect, and life, all while almost instantly chaning from a boy to man.

This story has the pace of a war, going from one incident to the next without dwelling on anything for too long. I usually do not like war stories, but I think this is a great war novel for older children to read and experience what war is like for children. It will open your eyes to the harsh reality of children fighting wars and what they have to go through. My copy of the book also has a brief historical note of the last major battle of WWII along with literature circle questions for teachers that follow Bloom's Taxonomy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
Do you like WWII with real battles? Then this is the book for you!

In this book Adam Pelko goes to boot camp where he learns to be a marine. His drill instructor was very mean. When he goes home for 72 hours to see his family he goes on a date and gets a girlfriend. He gets shipped out to fight the Japanese. Will he live? Will he die? Read to find out!

My opinion about this book is good because it has a good story line. It's about WWII, which is my favorite subject and in the fist book he's at Pearl Harbor, which is my favorite battle. The author did a good job at making the story. The topic is really good because he had good information.

If you like action packed war books, I recommend you try this one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Regis Schilken on May 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Adam's father and his sailor crew died when the battleship Arizona sank during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. To his horror, Adam witnessed the sinking. In fact, he and two of his buddies were actually out in the harbor near the Arizona when it exploded and sank. The concussive wave from the huge sinking ship dumped Adam and his buddies from their rowboat right into Pearl Harbor.

At age seventeen, now Adam wants to join the war effort. He feels it is the honorable thing to do to avenge his father's death. Since he is not eighteen he cannot join the Marines because his mother won't sign waiver papers. Cleverly, Adam tells his mother he wants to visit his grandfather's farm on the East Coast because he is bored to death with life in Bakersfield, California.

Adam has little difficulty persuading his grandfather, a World War I veteran who has lost an arm, to sign for him. Within a very short time, Adam is in the Marines facing all the physical and mental duress imposed on his mind and body by his rigorous training. Adam refuses to drop out. He believes officers who tell him "the training will keep you alive in combat."

In Heroes Don't Run as a Marine graduate in the spring of 1945, Adam finds himself shipboard heading for the island of Okinawa, a last major Japanese stronghold before Japan itself. Strangely, his entire outfit lands from their LST without gunfire, yet Adam can hear and feel the formidable rumbling of distant guns and explosions at both ends of the island.

Sergeant Rosenthal leads Adam's frightened platoon over several hills toward the battlefront.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Wilson-Tucker's Reading Classes on March 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
Kids who are passionate about historical fiction and like description of carnage and bloodshed should read the book Heroes Don't Run by Harry Mazer. Adam, the main character, tells this story with incredible emotion. I rated this book five out of five stars and think that if it were ever to become a movie, it would be rated R because of the violence of World War II. Adam is seventeen years old and can't wait to go into the army any longer. He wants to join the service because his dad had served and lost his life at Pearl Harbor. His grandpa served as well and suffered the loss of his left arm. Adam asks his mom if she could sign him up and she refuses because she's scared that he'll lose his life. She suggests to him that he wait until he is eighteen so that he doesn't need permission. Adam doesn't want to wait. Readers will enjoy the description of the war, the letters that Adam writes to his loved ones, and his thoughts and feelings about what is happening in his life. "Gunshots were all around me as I saw a grenade heading toward our foxhole. I fled for cover as the powerful object exploded beside me."- review written by Blake B.
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More About the Author

Harry Mazer is the author of many books for young readers, including A Boy at War and A Boy No More, which introduced Adam Pelko; The Wild Kid; and Snow Bound. His books have won numerous honors, including the Horn Book Honor List and the ALA Best Books for Young Adults citations. He is the recipient of the ALAN Award. Harry Mazer lives in New York City and Montpelier, Vermont.

Harry Mazer says, "After I finished A Boy at War, I wanted to write about Adam Pelko again, but what was the story to be? It wasn't until after the tragedies of September eleventh that I found the focus I needed to continue his story." Periods of war and national emergency have never been kind to personal liberties. In the aftermath of September eleventh many Arab and Muslim Americans find themselves under suspicion and their rights jeopardized. In some ways this is what happened after Pearl Harbor, when Japanese Americans were demonized and their rights were trampled. I know that history never simply repeats itself, but I hope that through Adam and Davi's story readers will recognize the parallels--and the perils."

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