Sunday, July 30, 2017

Wallace Boys #19 Missing in the Mekong and #20 The Pagodas of Pahang

In Wallace Boys #19, Missing in the Mekong, Bruce and Nigel begin their return to Singapore after their encounter with pirates.  The boys spot what appears to be an abandoned boat near Vietnam.  After investigating the boat, the boys discover an occupant, Nguyen Mah Vinh.  Mah Vinh is searching for his father, Marvin Wynne, an American who disappeared on the very day that Saigon fell to North Vietnam.  Can the boys help Mah Vinh find his father?

This is a moving story.  Much of the text consists of flashbacks to Vietnam during the war including the events leading up to Marvin Wynne's disappearance.

I have never been very interested in the Vietnam War, since it was still underway at the time I was born.  I have always been much more interested in events that happened well before my lifetime, such as World War II.

I have always been familiar with the names of events like the Tet Offensive, but they never meant anything to me.  I never cared to learn about them.  This book shows what happened in Vietnam to citizens during the Tet Offensive.  The reader also learns about the devastating environmental effects of Agent Orange and how it caused health problems and birth defects.

This might not sound interesting by how I describe it, but I found the presentation to be excellent and extremely interesting.  I now know more about the Vietnam War than I did before.

This is an outstanding book.

In Wallace Boys #20, The Pagodas of Pahang, Crown Prince Karl-Franz's sister, Flavia, is abducted by Communists while traveling by train in Malaysia.  Bruce and Nigel are camping in Malaysia at the same time with their friends, Kheng Peng and Zainal, and they cross paths with the kidnappers.  The four boys try to rescue Flavia with disastrous consequences.

This book only partially interested me.  I had to skim a lot of it.

I overall enjoyed the Wallace Boys series, but parts of many of the books required a lot of skimming.

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