Recently, I enjoyed the novel Ghost of Heroes Past by Charles Reid (2010, Ronsdale Press), about a boy who learns to appreciate these men and women of our armed forces.
Johnny doesn’t care about history, and he thinks the Remembrance Day parade is a waste of time, but his dad insists that it’s important to go this year. Johnny falls asleep, trying to come up with a viable plan for avoiding the parade. He wakes to find the ghost of a soldier in his room, who leads him through time and space to witness the forgotten heroes of World War I and World War II. As Johnny learns about these men and women, who demonstrated immense bravery and strength in terrible times, he realizes that his father is right. It is vital that we remember the sacrifices ordinary men and women make in their military service. Reid tells a captivating story of a young boy who learns that history is more than just faceless names and dates.
The stories told by Reid's soldier-ghost are fascinating and leave the reader hungry for more. He shows that war is never glorious, and that the people on both sides of the fighting are forced to make tough decisions every day, in fighting for what they believe is right. For anyone who has ever wondered, "Why should I care about a war I had nothing to do with?" this book shows us that we all have a stake in remembering those who serve their countries. The fascinating subject matter even makes up for the choppy storytelling and somewhat forced dialogue throughout the novel.