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Lost Boys von Darcey Rosenblatt
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Lost Boys (2018. Auflage)

von Darcey Rosenblatt (Autor)

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In 1982 Iran, twelve-year-old Reza is more interested in music than war, but enlists in obedience to his devout mother and soon finds himself in a prison camp in Iraq.
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Riza is a 12-year-old held in Iraq as a prisoner of war during the Iran-Iraq conflict of 1982. A wellresearched historical novel showing the differing attitudes towards the conflict on both sides. Includes Author’s Note
  NCSS | Jul 23, 2021 |
This was my first book on reading the subject of the Iran - Iraq war. Some parts were eye opening, and shocking even considering the ages of these boys going to war. They're all hyped up to go to glorious war, being fed the propaganda. Naturally it's not what it seems.

There were good portions of the book featuring some tense moments with Reza. They're well written and add emotion. The plot itself is straight forward and you wish all the best with Reza after all that he goes through.

Not a very common subject in the YA shelves, and it should be looked into more often. Greatly recommended. ( )
  sensitivemuse | May 28, 2021 |
There are some parts of this that are compelling (not least the cover that got me to pick this up), but I don't think I'd recommend it unless it was for a very specific request. The author's note talks about the research she conducted and her passion for the history that inspired her to write the story, and I believe that it's accurate for the most part. However, the overall impression the book leaves is of a war with "good" and "bad" Muslims, and I feel like that sort of simplifies and flattens all the complexities of the political and cultural time/situation the story is depicting. Particularly when the bad guys play into so many very specific stereotypes about Muslims. There's also an aid worker whose role really seemed to fall into white savior tropes. Which isn't to say that aid workers (who were probably often white) didn't play crucial roles in situations like Reza's, but I just don't know that this is the best or most authentic depiction of such a complex historical event. These reservations aren't enough for me to label this DO NOT RECOMMEND EVER or anything, but it's not one I'm interested in bringing on school visits. ( )
  bookbrig | Aug 5, 2020 |
Literary Merit: Very Good
Characterization: Very Good
Recommended: Yes
Level: Middle School Plus (Grades 6 & Up)

The year is 1982 and the Iran/Iraq conflict is in full swing. Twelve-year-old Reza is an Iranian boy who has already lost his father to this war. Now, twelve-year-old boys are expected to sign up to fight and they are being heavily recruited at their schools. His father believed that he was fighting for God and that his death would bring honor to the family. His mother believes in the same ideology and is committed to the strict religious belief system that forbids any and all contact with western civilization, either directly or indirectly. Reza’s Uncle Habib - his mother’s brother - feels differently. Uncle Habib feels that it is wrong to recruit children to fight in a war that no-one really understands and is part of an underground resistance movement. He introduces Reza to music and music performers from America and Reza grows to cherish this secret and hopes to be able to openly listen to and one day play the music he has come to love. However, Reza’s mother discovers the forbidden music and kicks Uncle Habib out of the house, initiating a tragic chain of events that forever changes Reza and his relationship with his mother.

Alienated and alone, Reza forgets his music and decides to join the war effort with his best friend, Ebi, in spite of having conflicted feelings about his faith, his family, and the war itself. After weeks of training in the desert, the boys are finally sent to fight. What they discover too late is that they and their fellow recruits are actually being used to sweep minefields before the soldiers go in to fight. After a harrowing scene in which the young boys are blown up in an explosion, Reza awakes to find himself in an Iraqi hospital and a prisoner-of-war. He is sent to a prison camp having no idea what became of his best friend, Ebi.

Reza survives the brutalities of camp, making friends with the other inmates, along with a couple of enemies. He is mentored by an Irish aid worker, as well as a friendly guard, and learns to reconnect with the music that he so dearly loves. He is eventually reunited with his friend, Ebi, but when his life is threatened by an evil, sadistic guard, Reza is forced to make a dangerous decision with life and death consequences.

"Lost Boys" is both compelling and disturbing. Darcy Rosenblatt tells the story of a little-known aspect of this Middle-Eastern conflict with clarity and compassion. She explores all of the nuances of family, faith, and loyalty as seen through Reza’s eyes. The ending leaves some questions for the reader, but that may be intentional. This would be an excellent companion book for a classroom Social Studies unit or a compelling story for readers interested in historical fiction. This important book should join others like it in the classroom or on library shelves. ( )
  SWONroyal | Jan 31, 2018 |
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In 1982 Iran, twelve-year-old Reza is more interested in music than war, but enlists in obedience to his devout mother and soon finds himself in a prison camp in Iraq.

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