Archive for September 14th, 2017

h1

Tom Slade with the Boys Over There

September 14, 2017

Tom Slade with the Boys Over There has a highly inaccurate title. He is “Over There,” but there’s only one other boy: Archibald Archer, who he met in Tom Slade with the Colors.

I’ve been kind of hesitant to spoil the plots of these, but I guess it doesn’t matter, so: this book starts just after Tom and Archer escape a German POW camp, and follows them on their journey through German territory. ¬†Unsurprisingly, his boy scout skills come in handy traveling through the Black Forest.

It’s hard to know what to write about these books if I don’t want to recount the plots in detail, and I don’t. This book is a lot more coherent than any of the others I’ve read, because it’s really just recounting one adventure, and that’s nice. But it also gives a lot of page time to Archer, who isn’t all that interesting, and doesn’t appreciate Tom in a way that satisfies me. Or maybe it’s just that Tom is less single-handedly brilliant here. Which probably makes for a better, more balanced book, but doesn’t satisfy my heart’s apparently endless need for Tom Slade a) being amazing and b) not realizing how amazing he is, c) being initially underrated by others, and d) finally being appreciated as he deserves.

Advertisements
h1

Tom Slade on a Transport

September 14, 2017

Tom Slade on a Transport feels like a do-over. Like, Tom Slade with the Colors was about Tom getting a job on a ship, and it was going to take him to Europe where he was presumably going to get more involved in the war. But then I guess Fitzhugh felt like he needed to get Tom back to Bridgeboro, for whatever reason.

In this book, Fitzhugh wastes no time in getting Tom on another ship, and one with a better mystery. One of the things I appreciate about Percy Keese Fitzhugh is that he does a really good job of adding emotional stakes to his mysteries. Here, it has the effect of changing Tom’s desire to fight from a patriotic one to an intensely personal one.

Anyway, this time Tom actually gets to Europe–and lands in grimmer circumstances than you really expect from a children’s book.