Book Review: Code of Honor by Alan Gratz

I stumbled across Code of Honor after reading Ban This Book and raving about Alan Gratz’s latest novel,  Refugee.  Now I have three books by the author to spread the love.

Summary from Goodreads:

22608738Live by the code. Die by the code?

Kamran Smith has it all. He’s the star of the football team, dates the most popular girl, and can’t wait to enlist in the army like his big brother, Darius. Although Kamran’s mother is from Iran, Kamran has always felt 100% American. Accepted.

And then everything implodes.

Darius is accused of being a terrorist. Kamran refuses to believe it. But Darius has been filmed making threats against his country, hinting at an upcoming deadly attack. Suddenly, everyone in Kamran’s life turns against him and his family.

Kamran knows it’s up to him to clear his brother’s name. In a race against time, Kamran must piece together a series of clues and codes that will lead him to Darius—and the truth.

But is it a truth Kamran is ready to face? And is he putting his own life at risk?

Acclaimed author Alan Gratz (Prisoner B-3087) takes readers on a heart-pounding, nonstop adventure through underground intelligence bunkers and dangerous terrorist cells, weaving a gripping tale about the War on Terror—and the bond between brothers.

Why You Should Read Code of Honor:

#1 When we talk about books being windows, mirrors, or doors, Gratz’s novels tend to open doors for me into the lives of those who are different from me.  As a white woman teaching in a high school where 40% of the students are of color, it is imperative that I understand other cultures and offer students books that they will connect to and want to read.  We no longer live in a society where it is acceptable to only offer the literary works of old or dead white people to our students.

On a personal level, I connected to Kamran right away.  When I read this quote I was reminded of the struggles my husband faces in his life due to the color of his skin.

“Some people will always think the less of you for the color of your skin, for the country of your mother’s birth, or for the despicable actions of someone who kind of, maybe, on a good day in the right light looks a bit like you.  Which means you always have to be the better man.”

We are a country that has thrived on our diversity and Gratz reminded me here that no matter the good intentions of some, we have to own how we treat others and all be more open and aware of our comments and actions.

#2 – This book is filled with action and suspense.  From the first two pages I was engaged in the text.  It is fast paced with short chapters with cliffhanger endings that will hook some of your reluctant readers.  If you have fans of James Patterson’s mysteries or the Alex Rider series, hand them this book.

#3 – Loyalty, Brotherhood, Patriotism, Terrorism, Truth, Lies, Survival – these are just a few of themes covered in Code of Honor.  Gratz personalizes the war on terror and brings to life how hard it is to be non-white on our country today.

Looking forward to book talking this one on Monday and reading his newest book, Grenade, which will be out in October 2018.  To learn more about Grenade, check out this blog interview between Mr. Shu and Alan Gratz.

 

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