Summary from Goodreads
It’s 1982, and twelve-year-old Reza has no interest in joining Iran’s war effort. But in the wake of a tragedy and at his mother’s urging, he decides to enlist, assured by the authorities that he will achieve paradise should he die in service to his country.
War does not bring the glory the boys of Iran have been promised, and Reza soon finds himself held in a prisoner-of-war camp in Iraq, where the guards not only threaten violence—they act upon it.
Will Reza make it out alive? And if he does, will he even have a home to return to?
A couple quotes I liked that don’t give away too much from the book.
And you know this jazz comes from American slavery. Picture a whole people caged - you hear that sadness? But their music was subtle rebellion, something that made them free. It's no surprise our government bans music. Music can be power to people who are struggling. - pg. 38
I no longer prayed. At first I had no idea time was passing. Once I could tell one day from the next, I couldn't physically kneel down. But as weeks went by, it wasn't the physical pain that kept me from facing Mecca with the others. It was the knot that lodged just below my heart. - pg. 105
When I got the final list of Trumans for the 19-20 school year last spring, this was one of the first books I got from the library. But, I do this thing where I check out 10+ books at a time and only make it through three of them before they’re due back. So this book kept getting check out and returned. In fact, when I got it from my school library last week, it was the fourth time I had checked it out.
Lost Boys ended up being my last Truman nominee to read, and I think I’m glad it ended up that way. I absolutely loved this book. It made me have all sorts of feels, and there were multiple times throughout the book when I cried. I also found myself getting angry multiple times.
Reza was such a well-written character, and I loved seeing his growth as a person and as a musician. I felt his heartbreak at the beginning of the book, and as he made a difficult decision toward the end. (Really trying to avoid spoilers here!)
This book made me realize how much I do not know about history and other countries. Obviously there is much more that has happened in our world than what can be taught in history classes in high school and college, but man, I feel like I wasn’t taught much more than US history up until the Civil War with WW2 being taught during Holocaust units in English classes.
With that said, I think it will be my reading goal for 2020 to read more historical fiction (and maybe a couple nonfiction pieces…gasp!). Feel free to recommend your favorites.