Book Reviews

Reviews of books by MWSA members. Reviews appear in reverse chronological order, with the most recent review posted appearing first.
Note: Some older reviews are being reposted to this site and those will appear out of order.

Daddy You're My Hero

Title: Daddy You're My Hero
Author: Michelle Ferguson-Cohen
Genre: Children, Children Under 12
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0972926402

Around the world, whether or not we are at war or involved in a military action, soldiers are deployed to service leaving their families behind. Everyday, children of military personnel are being confronted with the difficulties of having a parent deployed in the service of our country. Children's book author and military brat, Michelle Ferguson-Cohen, has written, "Daddy, you're my hero!" and "Mommy, you're my hero!" to help military and reservist's families speak with children about deployment.

Little Redhaired Girl Publishing, Inc. hears from many educators, parents, psychologists and military FRGs (Family Readiness Groups) who are using the books as a resource to help speak with their children about the deployment of a parent and war in general.

The books address deployment from a child's perspective. They talk about this separation in a simple manner to assure and comfort small children. The books also suggest tips to maintain communication and deal with feelings of helplessness.

"I wrote these books from my heart. I know what it's like to experience what these children are facing," says Ferguson-Cohen. "My own father was deployed in the service of our country many times when I was young."

It was important to the author that children of military personnel see themselves represented in the media and that the message they received was of both "pride and sensitivity". "You should address a child’s fears," she says "But it’s important the message isn’t so dramatic it worries them further. I also wanted to give children permission to be proud of their parents."

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Ferguson-Cohen, Michelle

Nobody Comes Back: A Novel of the Battle of the Bulge

Title: Nobody Comes Back: A Novel of the Battle of the Bulge
Author: Donn Pearce
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): B000KHXCD0

Donn Pearce, the author of Cool Hand Luke, again revisits the subject of men under tremendous pressure, living and dying according to oppressive circumstances. Now, he brings you another tragic hero, thrust out of the only world he knew and forced to create one on his own terms . . . or die trying.

Toby Parker was America's unwanted son. Only sixteen years old, he was too young to be enlisted in the army, but old enough to know that he didn't want to return to the life he knew: moving from new home to new home, neglected by his mother, ignored by his father, overlooked by everyone else.

The war overseas promised exotic locations and adventure, but what it delivered was something else entirely. The Nazis were beginning to fall back, and the war was all but over. But the fighting still raged on in pockets of Europe. Out of the critical focus on France, only one last position needed to hold: the city of Bastogne. Thrown into battle almost immediately upon arrival, he soon found himself wounded and alone, struggling to survive and looked upon to lead. It was here that Toby was to learn what war really was, and what kind of man he was destined to become.

Many American boys went into World War II, and each one lived their own nightmare, critically shaped by what they experienced. Out of the dead, even the survivors, Nobody Comes Back.

Told with gritty authenticity, Donn Pearce captures the very essence of what it means to be caught under the worst circumstances imaginable, while having the strength and humanity to rise above them.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Pearce, Donn

Vietnam Worm, The

Title: The Vietnam Worm
Author: James E. Johnson, III
Genre: Non-Fiction, Collection
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): ISBN / EAN

The Vietnam Worm” is a collection of stories based on the actual experiences of the author and the men he served with. The central character is Sergeant Tom Danville, a man fighting not only the Vietcong, but the combat sickness, ‘The Worm’, that is slowly and secretly invading his brain. From cobras and man-eating tigers, to dealing with incompetent officers and booby traps, the book tells of the daily life ofDanville and his men as they strive to survive not only the horrors of war, but the transition of returning home to a country that neither appreciated nor understood the suffering and sacrifices they had made.

The Vietnam War is all but forgotten now except by the thousands of men who were called and went, or volunteered because they truly believed it was the right thing to do. Many of these men still suffer now because they saw their duty and did it.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Johnson, James E., III

Heart of a Hawk, Eye of the Eagle: Operation Iraqi Freedom, Seen Through the Eyes of a Father and Mother

Title: Heart of a Hawk, Eye of the Eagle: Operation Iraqi Freedom, Seen Through the Eyes of a Father and Mother
Author: Deborah Tainsh
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir
Reviewer: Maria Edwards

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): I0965748383

David and Deborah Tainsh were living the happiest years of their lives until the dark morning of February 12, 2004, when a six a.m. knock at the door brought the news that their son, Sergeant Patrick Tainsh, had been killed in Iraq. Patrick, David’s only child, was the pride of his life. He was the son who overcame a rebellious, drug-addicted youth to become an outstanding U.S. Army Cavalry Scout, posthumously awarded the Bronze and Silver Stars for saving the lives of his commanding officer and other soldiers before succumbing to his own wounds. In the wake of their loss, David and Deborah battle horrific grief and anger while trying to hold their marriage—and one another—together in an unforgettable journey toward healing.

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Tainsh, Deborah

Sea of Shadows

Title: Sea of Shadows (formerly Topedo)
Author: Jeff Edwards
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Reviewer: Bill McDonald

ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 0983008507

For fans of Tom Clancy, Joe Buff, and Dale Brown…

OUT GUNNED… OUT MANEUVERED… OUT THOUGHT… THE ONLY WAY TO SURVIVE IS TO CHANGE THE RULES.

A minor accident at a German nuclear power plant, a Biological Warfare attack on the British Embassy in Washington, DC, and a secret arms deal combine to drive a trusted NATO Ally into an illegal alliance with a rogue Middle Eastern state. With the world hovering on the brink of war, a handful of U.S. Navy warships must track down and destroy a wolfpack of state-of-the-art submarines.

Their enemy is skilled in deception, and incredibly lethal. Out-gunned, out-maneuvered, and out-thought, the U.S. Navy crews must throw the rulebook out the window, and become every bit as devious and deadly as their enemy.

If they fail, the consequences are unthinkable…

“A timeless warrior epic. Jeff Edwards spins a stunning and irresistibly-believable tale of savage modern naval combat.” — JOE BUFF, Bestselling author of ‘SEAS OF CRISIS,’ and ‘CRUSH DEPTH’

“Edwards wields politics and naval combat tactics with a skill equal to the acknowledged masters of military fiction.” — THE MILITARY PRESS

“… as close as you can get to naval surface combat without being shot at. Jeff Edwards has penned a fast, no-holds-barred thriller that never lets up. Highly recommended.” — JACK DuBRUL, Bestselling author of ‘THE SILENT SEA,’ and ‘HAVOC’

Author(s) Mentioned: 
Edwards, Jeff

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