Thursday, 27 September 2012

Back To Bataan Review

Back to Bataan Summary

New York City, 1943. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific, while Jack Dalton is stuck attending Dutch Masters Day School. What Jack really wants is to enlist in the army, to fight...

Everything changes when Coco, Jack's "fiancee," throws him over for one of his classmates. Jack sees red and does something drastic. Then he runs away. Hiding out in a nearby park, Jack joins ranks with a group of vagrants and is soon under the sway of a man called the Leader, an ex-convict who is as articulate and charismatic as he is dangerous. The Leader turns Jack's world upside down. To put things right, Jack must prove himself a braver soldier than he ever imagined.


So, Back To Bataan. Not gonna lie, the summary and front cover had me thinking this book was going to be YA. However, the main character, Jack, is just eleven years old - which definitely threw me - especially when I sort of expected him to grow older as the story progressed. Again, my mistake. 

In spite of my surprise, I quickly warmed to Oliver and his young mind. The way he talked about his "fiancee" was endearing, and you couldn't help but admire his determination. You see, Jack puts 110% into everything he decides to do - and his bravery might even put Harry Potter to shame! :p

Back To Bataan was obviously written with a great deal of thought and care. It's impossible not to get caught up in Oliver's story because it is just so believable. Jerome Charyn created a character you want to root for, even when he does something bad, you can't help but cheer him on and hope everything works out for him.

If you're looking for a quick read with a good dose of action and humour, it's definitely worth a read! 


Jerome Charyn's Bio:

Jerome Charyn (born May 13, 1937) is an award-winning American author. With nearly 50 published works, Charyn has earned a long-standing reputation as an inventive and prolific chronicler of real and imagined American life. Michael Chabon calls him “one of the most important writers in American literature.”

New York Newsday hailed Charyn as “a contemporary American Balzac,” and the Los Angeles Times described him as “absolutely unique among American writers.”

Since 1964, he has published 30 novels, three memoirs, eight graphic novels, two books about film, short stories, plays and works of non-fiction. Two of his memoirs were named New York Times Book of the Year. Charyn has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. He received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has been named Commander of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

Charyn lives in Paris and New York City.

Kindle buy link - $2.99

Nook buy link - $4.95

Smashwords buy link - $4.99

PDF buy link - $4.95



  1. I would have guessed this was YA too. But it sounds good and I am intrigued by that time period.

  2. I would've guessed YA for aure! That being said, it's a very interesting premise and I'm a big fan of the 1940s.

    I've always imagined how absolutely fabulous New York City must have been during that time. *sigh* if only I could time travel.

  3. Huh, I thought it was YA from the cover, but it sounds like a good MG read. Thanks for the review.

  4. Ooh, I've been looking for a good MG. Sounds awesomesauce!

  5. Sounds very interesting! You don't get many 11 year old male POVs. It'd be quite a refreshing read, I think! :)

  6. I'm looking for more great MG reads. Thanks for the rec!

  7. Kyra, thanks for mentioning that Jerome writes with a great deal of thought and care. I couldn't have said it any better. Thanks for the review, and for sharing this story with your blog followers.

  8. Hey,

    I have a old warrior friend who visited Hawaii in 1943 and he said he had to fight through a "forest of palm trees" to get to Waikiki Beach.

    Google a pic of WB today, and how awesome the '40s must have been (in many ways :)

    Hope you're getting some down time :)

  9. This looks interesting. Might have to try it out.

  10. Sounds very cool, though I would have guessed it was YA too.

  11. Nice! I love MG. Sounds great.

  12. Looking at the cover, I thought it was YA, too. But I like the cover and it sounds good:) Thanks Kyra!