Synopses & Reviews
John Dante is seventeen when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, and he wants to fight for his country. But then he falls head over heels for Ginny Burton, who is against all war, and his beliefs are suddenly questioned. Rather than be judged a traitor or a coward, though, John enlists--a decision that changes his life forever.
Includes a reader's guide and an inverview with the author.
"Newbery Medalist Rylant has always let her readers slip easily into her characters' hearts and souls. Never before, however, has she so successfully portrayed the thoughts and emotions of a character as she has here. From the very first page, the reader feels like John Dante: 17, idealistic and itching for life to begin a life outside of Pittsburgh and preferably one that includes Europe and castles. This engaging and utterly believable protagonist gets his new life, but through experiencing the shock of the attack on Pearl Harbor, enlisting in the army to avenge his country, falling in love with a beautiful, singular girl named Ginny, undergoing the hell that is war and discovering how its brutal reality can change so many lives forever. Rylant's story is heartbreaking in its honesty; her controlled, elegant prose lends poignancy to the story's emotional depth. The volume is deceptively slim; this finely drawn novel projects emotional truths to rival those of Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. A love story, a coming-of-age tale, a book with a passionate anti-war message, I Had Seen Castles is not to be missed. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
[star]"Wonderfully spare language and imagery . . . poignant."--Kirkus Reviews
[star]"Tantalizing. . . Rylant writes with passion and hearbreaking honesty."--The New York Times Book Review (starred review)
[star]"Heartbreaking . . . Not to be missed."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Now an old man, John is haunted by memories of enlisting to fight in the WWII, a decision that forced him to face the horrors of war and changed his life forever.
About the Author
CYNTHIA RYLANT is a Newbery Medalist and the author of many acclaimed books for young people. She's well known for her popular characters for early readers, including Mr. Putter & Tabby and Henry and Mudge. She lives near Portland, Oregon.