Skiing Soldiers

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Many people have gone skiing before, especially in Colorado. But how many have fought in a war at the same time?

 

Many people have gone skiing before, especially in Colorado. But how many have fought in a war at the same time?

 

Fifteen-year-old Noah Garrett must. His parents have raised him to oppose the war (this is 1944, during World War II). Then, they both died, leaving Noah no choice but to go and live with the uncle he has never met in Camp Hale, a military base in Colorado.

 

How is Noah supposed to survive training for a war he doesn't believe in and is convinced he WON'T fight in? How is he supposed to live in the cold snow of the mountains, when, all his life he has lived in the heat of Texas? He has no choice but to live at Camp Hale for now, training for war. He is only fifteen, can't support himself all on his own, his only living relative is his uncle, and the economy is just beginning to recover from the Great Depression. At least at Camp Hale he has decent shelter and enough food.

 

So, since Noah's options are clear, he lies about his age and tells everyone (including his uncle) he is sixteen. In this time, boys were allowed to join the military at age sixteen (in the book, in real life it was age fifteen), so long as they had a signed note from a guardian. So, Noah ends up joining the Phantoms. When he's a born and raised pacifist. He ends up going to Europe. Going to war.

 

The book "Phantoms in the Snow" by Kathleen Benner Duble describes a piece of the history of America and the United States. It also helps explain the hardships of those who have been in war. I have never been in a war myself, but it helped me visualize more accurately what it would be like. Plus, it was cool to think about how the soldiers this book is based on are responsible for all the skiing resorts in Colorado today!

 

I would recommend this book to kids ages eleven and above or maybe to kids ten and above. The reason is that there are some gruesome and scary moments, though very few. The overall storyline is a good one, but these moments can be frightening. To learn more about the author and her other books go to http://kathleenduble.com/.