Title: Missing In Action
Author: Dean Hughes
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 9, 2010
Size: 240 pages, 6×9, hardcover
Genre: Middle-Grade Historical
Dirty. Lazy. Good-for-nothing. Jay Thacker is used to hearing himself called names because his dad is half-Navajo. But he’s hoping, now that he and his mom have moved to stay with his grandparents because of WWII, that things could be different. Delta is a tiny town in Utah, nothing like Salt Lake, where they used to live. And Jay’s grandfather is an elder in the church, a beloved and well-respected man. Jay begins to make friends and even to make some money as he works the fields for his grandfather. There’s just one problem: he works alongside a young man named Ken, who’s from the camps in nearby Topaz. Which means Ken is a Jap. And Jay’s dad, who’s been fighting for the navy out in the Pacific, was recently declared Missing in Action.
An understated and moving story about an unlikely friendship from the author of the acclaimed SOLDIER BOYS, this is one of Dean Hughes’s best novels to date.