Monday, April 24, 2017
I Had Seen Castles
Lexile = 950
Oh. My. Goodness. Love this book. So many paragraphs that I want to copy and paste here. This is seriously beautiful writing.
I Had Seen Castles sounds like a memoir told by a boy that turned eighteen and went off to World War II in Europe. It is fiction.
It is now over fifty years later. I am becoming what I once thought of as an old man. And I want desperately to have that sunny afternoon in 1939 back. I want to have that morning. The walk to school with the guys, the banter, the wisecracking, the cuffing and shoving that boys must do to claim ownership of each other. I want to have Science and History and English and Gym, and I want to sit among my friends eating soggy sandwiches and making wild claims of one sort or another.
So we know that he survives the war. But he is changed. Perhaps students won't see what I see in this slim volume. Much like the protagonist, they are anxious for the adventure and excitement that war promises. I see this as a protest book. Obviously, war is bad. Ryland shows the reader how each character is changed: the Mom who stays at home and takes a factory job, the sister who promises herself to more than one GI, the Father who leaves his University job to develop weapons, and the little boy who had dreamed of seeing castles and then did.
I could not stay in America because America had not suffered. I needed to be with those whose eyes looked like my own, who had covered their faces and lain in the darkness as bombs fell.
New favorite book!