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The Last Mission (Laurel-Leaf Historical Fiction) Mass Market Paperback – January 15, 1981


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Frequently Bought Together

The Last Mission (Laurel-Leaf Historical Fiction) + A Boy at War: A Novel of Pearl Harbor + Heroes Don't Run: A Novel of the Pacific War
Price for all three: $17.07

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Series: Laurel-Leaf Historical Fiction
  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (January 15, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440947979
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440947974
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.3 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

In 1944, as World War II is raging across Europe, fifteen-year-old Jack Raab dreams of being a hero. Leaving New York City, his family, and his boyhood behind, Jack uses a false I.D. and lies his way into the U.S. Air Force.

From their base in England, he and his crew fly twenty-four treacherous bombing missions over occupied Europe. The war is almost over and Hitler near defeat when they fly their last mission -- a mission destined for disaster. Shot down far behind enemy lines, Jack is taken prisoner and sent to a German POW camp, where his experiences are more terrifying than anything he'd ever imagined.

From the Inside Flap

In 1944, as World War II is  raging across Europe, fifteen-year-old Jack Raab  dreams of being a hero. Leaving New York City, his  family, and his boyhood behind, Jack uses a false  I.D. and lies his way into the U.S. Air  Force.



From their base in England, he and his crew  fly twenty-four treacherous bombing missions over  occupied Europe. The war is almost over and Hitler  near defeat when they fly their last mission -- a  mission destined for disaster. Shot down far  behind enemy lines, Jack is taken prisoner and sent to  a German POW camp, where his experiences are more  terrifying than anything he'd ever imagined.

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."

Customer Reviews

By Jared Instasi This book is a very good read.
Jared Instasi
The language was very rough at times, normally not appropriate for younger readers, and I question whether all of it was necessary.
Lavern Holdeman
When I first read this book, I was in 6th grade.
Julio Mazariegos

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robert Dryfuse on November 16, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a high school history teacher. This book is an excellent teaching tool for freshmen or sophomore history classes (some of the older kids thought that the reading level was too easy). The majority of my students liked the book as it brought a wealth of additional color and background to the classroom lecture notes. The fact that the protagonist is 16 and there is a "love story" subplot makes it even better.

As far as the swearing, it is not at all excessive and actually adds to the book as it shows the culture shock that 16 year old Jack underwent when he joined the Army Air Force. Also...from a historical standpoint..people did swear back then! Trust me...it is nothing worse than I as a teacher (quite unfortunately) hear in the hallways on a daily basis.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Gerry on July 9, 2005
Format: School & Library Binding
I am a special educator in a middle school and upon receiving this book as part of our curriculum, my first thought was "Oh no, not about war...my students will hate it...I can hear the complaints now..." but to my surprise, my students loved the story! I had a hard time getting them to put the book down so that other types of learning could occur. Needless to say, we did finish this book in record time and it left me with a great sense of pride for them...and my students felt the same way...not only were they able to finish it before the due date, they surprised themselves! Their recall, as well as quiz and test scores, went through the roof...they even asked me if they could create something as a final project...imagine that!!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Julio Mazariegos on December 2, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I first read this book, I was in 6th grade. Now I am in 11th and I still read this book when I can. It was wonderfuly written and execllent images Harry Mazer used. I say that it was a great book and everyone should read it.Getting in the Air Force at 15 and making it at the end, never read something like it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Shaffer on January 16, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm really disappointed that this book is recommended for ages 12 and up, yet contains many instances of the F-word. I bought this book based upon it's historical significance and my son was looking forward to reading it. I am extremely careful in the literature I offer him and wish there had been a warning as to the content of this book. Thankfully, upon encountering the foul language, my son refused to read any more. Very disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chad on January 7, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book for the first time when I was in 7th grade. Before this book I had never read a book start to finish and enjoyed it. Books were for nerds and were boring. It only took me a few pages before I was obsessed with this book. I could not stop reading it. I found my self carrying it around everywhere I went and reading it every chance I got. The story is great and has alot of action. I don't know what it is about it that makes it so hard to put down but I know I couldn't until I finished it and read it again. If you ask me this is a literary masterpiece. Forget the whole young adult thing I think it would be equally enjoyable to people of any age.
I recommend it and it would be a great gift to people who do not like reading books. Before this book I hated reading but now I find my self looking for another book that I enjoy as much as this one. The only other book that has come close is Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger which I also recommend.
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22 of 31 people found the following review helpful By K. W. Gerveler on October 14, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this for my 10 year old son. Several pages into it he informed me that it was sprinkled with the F word. I will not let him finish this book and am very disappointed that there is no warning from Amazon.com with regard to inappropriate language. This is supposed to be for young adults and one reviewer actually recommends this for kids as young as 5! Parents be warned!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nina M. Osier on July 8, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When 15-year-old New Yorker Jack Raab uses his older brother's birth certificate to lie his way into the Army, his head is filled with dreams of glorious battle. He hates Hitler on behalf of his fellow Jews everywhere, and considers seeing the Nazi dictator dead a sort of personal mission. Big for his age and training among boys who actually aren't much older, he's surprised at just how easy it is to pull off the deception. Soon he's training as a B-17 bomber's waist gunner, and then he's off to an air base in England. But not before meeting a girl named Dotty, who also believes he's 19.

War's reality hits young Jack in the face soon enough, once he starts flying missions over Germany. 25 of them, the magic number that sends any airman who's still alive back to the U.S. - but that last mission, for Jack, ends on the ground in Nazi Austria after his plane is shot down. He's the only survivor, and by this time the only thing he wants on earth is to go home to his family.

Author Mazer wisely refuses to airbrush or mute the realities of war as Jack experiences it. The raw language of both barracks and battle zone, the terror and exhaustion of crewing a B-17 on a 9-hour mission over the enemy's homeland, the sheer ugliness of death and the even greater ugliness of hatred, all come through as if the reader is right there with him. This former teacher of 15-year-olds absolutely loved this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 8, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack Raab is a 15 year old kid who wants to become a hero. He lies about his age to get into the U.S Air Corps. At his base is england he flies many missions.On his last mission his plane gets shot down, and jack lands behind enemy lines. Jack gets taken to POW Camp with the Germans.

This is a very good war book for readers. But should only be read for young adults for swearing.
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