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When Ha arrives as part of Simon's family, the nightmares arrive too. And as Simon tries to find out about Ha and his past, he begins to uncover a war-story which is not the one he wanted to hear. Is the story Simon hears in his head his own, or does it belong to this child who his parents now say is his brother - Ha, the war orphan? This novel with a background in the Vietnam War is now being reissued in a smaller, mass-market paperback format. Rachel Anderson is a previous winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Award.
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Rachel Anderson is a previous winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Award.From School Library Journal:
Grade 7 UpThe War Orphan does not live up to its potential for being an excellent story. Brainy and somewhat priggish Simon has his well-ordered and insulated life as an English schoolboy suddenly disrupted by the arrival of a foster brother, Ha, a young Vietnamese war orphan. This newcomer exhibits baby-like crying, wets and messes his pants, communicates poorly, and rocks the lower berth of the shared bunk bed at night. His disturbing presence soon drives Simon to learn more about the Vietnam War. Unfortunately, Anderson uses the device of dreams and visions to educate Simon about Ha and the war. The resulting descriptions of wartime life in Vietnam are powerful, moving, and graphic; however, the continual shifts in the narrative between Simon and Ha tend to create confusing and irritating disruptions. In addition, Anderson's vignettes of English domestic life fail to match in intensity and interest the views of wartime Vietnam. American readers may be further confused by the many Briticisms. Furthermore, only the two main characters have any real substance and depth to them. As a result, this is a disappointing book. David A. Lindsey, Lakewood Junior/Senior High School Library, Wash.
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Book Description Oxford University Press, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M019275095X