GRANDSON: Webb (age 17)
REASON FOR TRAVEL: In the Deep South, Webb is searching for answers about his grandfather's role in Vietnam with the help of Lee, a war vet. But someone high in the ranks of the US military wants to keep certain information buried—at any cost.
"A strong, fast-paced survival story with a kick." —Booklist for Devil's Pass
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2015 CCBC Best Books selection
"Rich in historical detail, the narrative is a crash course on a volatile time in American history. Webb, who battles his own internal demons even as he's fighting external enemies, is a complicated and authentic hero." —Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2014
"After stumbling on a cache containing fake passports, foreign currencies, and a gun, Jim Webb throws himself into a mission to redeem the legacy of his late grandfather, David McLean, a Canadian Vietnam War veteran who may have been involved in a sordid scheme involving forged identities and stolen jewels...Action drives the story, but it coheres in the contentious yet warm banter...Brouwer confidently lays out the moral complexity of the war itself and unflinchingly confronts the history—and present—of racial prejudice...A good choice for older reluctant readers or students interested in recent history." —School Library Journal, September 2014
"A fast-paced story with lots of twists, Tin Soldier will have readers hooked and cheering on its teenaged main character Webb from page one...A great read that is hard to put down, full of characters readers can’t help but root for, and packed with historical facts without allowing the story to become a dry history lesson. Highly Recommended."—CM Magazine, September 5, 2014
"Brouwer certainly knows how to weave an intriguing mystery, and protagonist Jim Webb’s blend of hard-earned cynicism and innate compassion stand him in good stead as he unravels the secrets of his grandfather’s past...[Webb] learns that self-respect and forgiveness are key to letting go of anger. Racism, tolerance, compassion, self-respect, and the power of song resonate through the novel. In the end, as he performs his adaptation in a small club, we cheer for Webb as much as does his audience."—Resource Links, September 5, 2014