I realize that life was very different during World War II. With all the different rules and regulations, it is hard to understand what kids went through then. I suppose it would be equally as hard for the kids back then to understand what we do to have fun now.
I’ve noticed that lots of boys around the age of Jack like weapons, or pretend fighting with their friends. But when asked, most do not want to go into the army; they do not want to even go away from their parents. In Back to Bataan, Jack thinks the army would be good for him, which in some ways it could, only if he was older.
Traveling without my parents or an adult is hard. You have to track where you go and everything you bring. It is much more complicated without anyone to help. With the idea of wanting to go into the army, Jack does not realize the full consequence of being in war; all the vivid memories and experiences he would bring home with him. His life, if he went to war, would be forever changed.
I understand that Jack misses his dad, like every kid who’s dad goes on a long trip or has divorced parents. I talk to my family and friends about things like this. I think we all have a longing for an adult who we can trust, tell secrets to, or talk to.
There’s also always an evil side to everything we can do, telling us that it’s ok to do it. It happened to Jack. He finds that out when a voice in his head tells him to start a fire at a party. Kids have silly ideas pop into their heads about running away or lighting things on fire. You have to be strong to say no. After making a mistake, I can’t imagine how it would feel to run away for a week or more.
In life there is usually someone who looks after you, to help you out whenever you need it. In Back to Bataan, Hans is a friendly janitor helps out Jack. Jack is just beginning to figure out that he wants to do with his life and he runs away. He meets a mass murderer who calls himself “Leader.” Personally I would be scared so much I would want to grab everything I owned, and run away back to home. It would be very frightening to meet someone like that and then to admire him.
After one of the rough spots passed in that moment of his life, Jack comes back to reality. Most people do come back to reality; although the Leader has altered who he is and cannot return. After all that happened to Jack, I think it would be hard to come back into a school environment with everything bustling about near graduation time.
With this book, I now have a better understanding of how hard it was to be a kid during WWII. It has also encouraged me to follow the my reality, my path. This book has many life lessons about the troubles of being a kid, and the pressures that are put on us.
Back to Bataan was a very influential book to read. It was so good I didn’t want to put it down. I just loved this book, and how it was filled with lessons and actions.