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Harry Mazer (1925–) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights

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Born 1925, in New York, NY; Education: Union College, B.A., 1948; Syracuse University, M.A., 1960.

Addresses

Agent—George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic, 65 Bleeker St., New York, NY 10012.

Career

New York Central Railroad, brake man and switchtender, 1950–55; New York Construction, Syracuse, sheet metal worker, 1957–59; Central Square School, Central Square, NY, English teacher, 1959–60; Aerofin Corp., Syracuse, welder, 1960–63; full-time writer, 1963–. Military service: U.S. Army Air Force, 1943–45; became sergeant; received Purple Heart and Air Medal with four bronze oak leaf clusters.

Member

Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, American Civil Liberties Union.

Honors Awards

Best of the Best Books designation, American Library Association (ALA), 1970–73, for Snow Bound; Kirkus Choice designation, 1974, for The Dollar Man; Best Books for Young Adults designation, ALA, 1977, and Children's Choice designation, International Reading Association (IRA)/Children's Book Council (CBC), 1978, both for The Solid Gold Kid; Best Books for Young Adults designation, ALA, and Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award nominee, Vermont Congress of Parents and Teachers/Vermont Department of Libraries, both 1979, both for The War on Villa Street; Best Books designation, New York Times, 1979, Books for the Teen Age inclusion, New York Public Library, 1980, Best Books for Young Adults designation, ALA, 1981, and Best of the Best Books 1970–83 listee, ALA, all for The Last Mission; Booklist Contemporary Classics listee, 1984, and Preis der Lesseratten (West Germany), both for Snow Bound; Arizona Young Readers Award nominee, Arizona State Library Association, 1985, for The Island Keeper; Best Books for Young Adults designation, ALA, 1986, for I Love You, Stupid!; Books for the Teen Age inclusion, New York Public Library, 1986, and IRA/CBC Young Adult Choice listee, 1987, both for Hey, Kid! Does She Love Me?; Best Books for Young Adults designation, ALA, 1987, inclusion in Iowa Teen Award Master list, 1988, and West Australian Young Reader's Book Award, Australian Library and Information Association, 1989, all for When the Phone Rang; Best Books for Young Adults designation, ALA, named among Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, ALA, 1988, and Books for the Teen Age inclusion, New York Public Library, 1988, all for The Girl of His Dreams; Books for the Teen Age inclusion, New York Public Library, 1989, for Heartbeat; named among Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, ALA, 1989, for City Light; Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers designation, ALA, 1998, for Twelve Shots: Outstanding Short Stories about Guns; Best Books selection, School Library Journal, 1998, and Fanfare listee, Horn Book, 1999, both for The Wild Kid.

Writings

NOVELS; FOR YOUNG ADULTS

Guy Lenny, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1971.

Snow Bound, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1973.

The Dollar Man, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1974.

The War on Villa Street, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1978.

The Last Mission, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1979.

The Island Keeper: A Tale of Courage and Survival, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1981.

I Love You, Stupid!, Crowell (New York, NY), 1981.

Hey, Kid! Does She Love Me?, Crowell (New York, NY), 1984.

When the Phone Rang, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1985.

Cave under the City, Crowell (New York, NY), 1986.

The Girl of His Dreams, Crowell (New York, NY), 1987.

City Light, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1988.

Someone's Mother Is Missing, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1990.

Who Is Eddie Leonard?, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1993.

(Editor) Twelve Shots: Outstanding Short Stories about Guns, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1997.

The Dog in the Freezer: Three Novellas, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1997.

The Wild Kid, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1998.

A Boy at War: A Story of Pearl Harbor, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2001.

A Boy No More (sequel to A Boy at War), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.

Heroes Don't Run: A Novel of the Pacific War (sequel to Heroes Don't Run), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2005.

Author's works have been translated into German, French, Finnish, and Danish.

WITH WIFE, NORMA FOX MAZER

The Solid Gold Kid, Delacorte (New York, NY), 1977.

Heartbeat, Bantam (New York, NY), 1989.

Bright Days, Stupid Nights, Bantam (New York, NY), 1992.

OTHER

Contributor of short story to Places I Never Meant to Be: Original Short Stories by Censored Writers, edited by Judy Blume, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1999.

Adaptations

Snow Bound was produced as a National Broadcasting Company (NBC) "After School Special" in 1978. Snow Bound and The Last Mission were recorded on audiocassette by Listening Library, 1985.

Sidelights

In addition to being part of a writing family that includes wife Norma Fox Mazer and daughter Anne Mazer, novelist Harry Mazer has received critical acclaim for his many young-adult novels. His books, which include The Island Keeper: A Tale of Courage and Survival, Who Is Eddie Leonard?, and A Boy at War: A Story of Pearl Harbor, illustrate the values of perseverance, self-esteem, and inner fortitude. Noting that, "de-spite their predicaments, Mazer's protagonists usually emerge morally victorious," Twentieth-Century Young-Adult Writers contributor Mary Lystad cited as Mazer's strength his depiction of the "emotional turmoil, the humor and pain" of adolescence. "His characters are resilient and strong," Lystad continued. "His endings emphasize compassion, understanding, resourcefulness, and honesty." As Kenneth L. Donelson asserted in Voice of Youth Advocates, "Mazer writes about young people caught in the midst of moral crises, often of their own making. Searching for a way out, they discover themselves, or rather they learn that the first step in extricating themselves from their physical and moral dilemmas is self-discovery. Intensely moral as Mazer's books are," continued Donelson, "they present young people thinking and talking and acting believably," a characteristic that accounts for Mazer's continued popularity among readers and critics alike.

The son of hard-working Polish-Jewish immigrants, Mazer grew up in the Bronx, New York, where his family lived in an apartment in a two-block complex called the Coops. As the author recalled in Something about the Author Autobiography Series (SAAS), "you could feel the optimistic spirit that built these houses—in the central courtyards with their gardens and fountains, in the library, the gymnasium, and the kindergarten. The Coops were special, an island, a community, a village in a great city built on a shared dream of cooperation and social justice." Mazer shared the only bedroom with his brother, while his parents slept in the living room, which also served as a dining room and kitchen. The halls and stairs were Mazer's playground, and he grew up between two worlds—the park and the street—both of which he would later use in his novels. "The park was mine, so big it was limitless," recalled Mazer. The many games that the street offered, such as marbles and chalk-drawing, also appealed to Mazer, as did the huge fires built in empty lots after dark.

While retaining few memories of his school days, Mazer remembered lying on the couch with his nose in a book and "a pile of apple cores on the floor." He read everything from series books and adventure stories to the collected works of Charles Dickens. "Two of my all-time favorite books were Robinson Crusoe, the story of a man alone on a desert island, and Tarzan of the Apes," he recalled in SAAS.

Mazer took the competitive exam for the Bronx High School of Science and got in, but the courses that most interested him were English and history. In high school, questions about his future occupied his mind. Jobs were scarce at the time, and many employers would not hire Jews. If he had been a dutiful son, Mazer later reflected, he would have become a teacher; "but I was in rebellion. I was impatient. I wanted to be great, famous…. My secret desire was to be a writer, but I knew nothing about how to make it happen. I had the idea that if I could only write it down, if I could only put all my feelings into words, I would finally figure everything out (whatever everything was)."

World War II was on Mazer's mind also. At age seventeen he qualified to join the U.S. Army Air Force Cadets, but had to wait until he was eighteen to serve. "I prayed that the war didn't end before I got in," he remembered in his SAAS essay. Mazer served for two and a half years, starting out as an airplane mechanic, then training as a ball-turret and waist gunner. He was assigned to a crew on a B-17 bomber and in December of 1944 headed for Europe, where the crew flew their first mission two months later. In April their plane was shot down over Czechoslovakia, and only Mazer and one other crew member survived. "I remember thinking afterward that there had to be a reason why I had survived," recalled the author. "I didn't think it was God. It was chance. Luck. But why me? Chance can't be denied as a factor in life, but I clung to the thought that there was a reason for my survival."

Mazer was discharged from the army in October of 1945, and days later began attending classes at a liberal arts college. He began writing, but his work "was too serious and self-conscious. I turned each word over in my head before I allowed it out into the open…. I wrote, but I was full of doubt, my standards were miles higher than my abilities. I suffered over what I wrote and didn't write any more than I had to." After graduation, he trained as a welder and got a job in an auto-body shop. "I was dramatizing myself," Mazer later admitted, "imagining myself a leader of the downtrodden, pointing the way to the future…. I was idealistic. I was unrealistic. Most of all I was avoiding the real issues of my life. I didn't have the belief or the nerve to say I was a writer, to begin writing and let everything else take care of itself."

While working on a political campaign, Mazer met Norma Fox. It was their second meeting; they had been introduced two years earlier when she was fifteen and he was twenty-one. Now they began an on-again, off-again romance. A year later Norma began college, and Mazer pressed her to get married. "Norma said yes, we'd get married, then she said no," Mazer remembered. "When she was with me it was yes, but when she went back to school it was no again." The couple finally married and settled in a tiny apartment in New York City, but soon moved back upstate to Schenectady, and then to Utica, finally settling in Syracuse. Mazer worked at various jobs, doing welding, sheet metal work, and track work for the railroad, but still avoided writing.

After ten years of factory work, Mazer became a teacher. It was at this point that he and Norma discovered that they both longed to be writers. In the meantime, Mazer lost his teaching job and returned to factory work, taking paperbacks with him, trying to understand how a story worked. The insurance money from an accident finally enabled him to quit his job and begin writing full-time.

Now in his mid-thirties, Mazer and his wife began to write every day, supporting their family by penning articles for the true-confessions market. These stories demanded that I develop a character, a plot, action that rose to a climax, and a satisfying ending. And I had to do it every week, week after week. It was a demanding school. I was being forced to write to stay out of the factory," Mazer wrote in SAAS. He also tried other forms of writing, including television scripts and pieces for literary magazines. The Mazers' agent finally suggested they try the children's field.

Mazer's first serious effort produced the 1971 novel Guy Lenny, which marked the beginning of his successful career in children's literature. The story was inspired by a piece in a "Dear Abby" column about a boy who was concerned about an older girl he liked. She was going with someone else who was no good for her, and the boy wanted to know how he could break them up. Guy Lenny is the story of a boy whose parents are
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divorced, a situation children's books of the time did not deal with. Guy's mother has left, and he is living with his father when she returns to claim him. "It's a children's story because it's about a boy and is told from his point of view," explained Mazer in SAAS; "it's also an adult story because it's about growing up and having to live with some of the hard, intractable things of life. And that's what made it a young-adult book, a new category of fiction that was still to be named."

Many of Mazer's novels use characters from earlier books, and father-and-son relationships like the one in Guy Lenny often appear. Romance also plays a part, as in The Girl of His Dreams, in which Mazer relates the romance of Willis and Sophie, two ordinary young adults, with "a credibility apart from [the book's] fairytale ending," in the opinion of Marianne Gingher writing in the Los Angeles Times. Willis is a factory worker and dedicated runner who has a clear vision of exactly what the girl of his dreams should be like. Sophie does not fit this image, and their relationship develops slowly and awkwardly. "No run-of-the-mill, boy meets girl story here," stated Libby K. White in School Library Journal, adding that the novel "is romantic without being either mushy or explicitly sexual. Willis and Sophie are attractive characters who will interest and involve readers."

Snow Bound is another tale of two mismatched teens who are caught unprepared in a winter blizzard and must cooperate in order to survive. Tony is a spoiled rich kid who sets out to get revenge on his parents for not letting him keep a stray dog. He steals his mother's car and takes off in the middle of a snowstorm, picking up hitchhiker Cindy along the way. After getting lost, Tony wrecks the car in a desolate area, and he and Cindy must survive both the frigid cold and a pack of wild dogs. "The relationship that develops between the two of them is sensitively handled, never foolishly romanticized, and will probably be an easy thing for young readers to identify with," maintained Tom Heffernan in Children's Literature. New York Times Book Review contributor Cathleen Burns Elmer concluded that "the final measure of the book's capacity to enthrall lies in the mature reader's willingness to suspend disbelief. Snow Bound is a crackling tale; Mazer tells it with vigor and authority."

The main character in Mazer's I Love You, Stupid! is faced with more typical adolescent problems: High school senior Marcus wants to be a writer and is also obsessed with sex. School Library Journal contributor Kay Webb O'Connell pointed out that Marcus's erotic dreams include almost every young female he meets—everyone but Wendy, a girl he knew in grade school. Marcus even goes so far as to babysit for a young divorced woman, hoping she will become his lover. Wendy and Marcus finally make love, but the boy's aggressive pursuit of sex eventually drives Wendy away. "It takes most of the book to get them together, but it's better that way; Marcus and Wendy are friends who become lovers," observed O'Connell, concluding that Mazer's teen protagonists are "honest and humorous; their conversations and adventures are fresh and funny."

Who Is Eddie Leonard? introduces readers to a fifteen year old who lives with an eccentric elderly woman he calls Grandmother. When the woman dies, Eddie is left alone, but feels he must belong somewhere. A poster of a missing child named Jason Diaz changes everything for Eddie. Seeing the resemblance between himself and the missing boy, and calculating that Jason would now also be fifteen years old, Eddie hunts down the boy's family and introduces himself as their missing son. Now divorced and having given up their son as lost forever, Jason's parents are skeptical, and the missing boy's sister has been happy living as an only child. When the truth about his birth is finally discovered, Eddie must suffer further loss due to his emotional attachment to this new family. "Mazer has written a book teens will respond to," maintained Voice of Youth Advocates contributor Ruth E. Dishnow, calling Who Is Eddie Leonard? "a story about the often painful search for self-identity." While School Library Journal reviewer Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst felt that Mazer's terse, detached style makes the novel more a "series of strong character studies" than a cohesive story, Chris Sherman praised the book, writing in Booklist that Mazer's is "an emotionally charged story that readers will not be able to put down."

The Wild Kid finds Sammy, a twelve year old with Down's syndrome, building a reputation as a no-good-nik. Leaving the house without permission, Sammy gets his bike stolen and becomes lost in the woods outside of town while following the thief. In the forest he meets Kevin, a teen on the run. As Kevin's prisoner, Sammy gradually becomes the wild teen's friend, and Kevin ultimately helps the younger boy find his way home. Mazer's story was praised by several reviewers for its positive portrayal of an impaired child. School Library Journal contributor Carol A. Edwards asserted: "Vividly and with a fast pace, Mazer describes Sammy's world, his awful predicament, his magnificent spirit, and his incredible determination." Edwards concluded that The Wild Kid is "for anyone looking for an adventure, a survival story on many levels, or a compelling read."

Highly praised by critics, The Last Mission is based in part on Mazer's own experiences in World War II and "represents an amazing leap in writing," according to Donelson in Voice of Youth Advocates. Jewish fifteen-year-old Jack Raab is so desperate to fight against Hitler's Germany that he borrows his older brother's identification to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Forces. Jack is trained as a gunner, and he and his fellow crew members fly more than twenty missions out of England before being hit by enemy fire. The only one to survive, he ends up a German prisoner of war. The Last Mission
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"conveys better than any other young adult novel, and better than most adult novels, the feeling of war and the desolation it leaves behind," Donelson noted, adding that the novel "is a remarkable achievement, both for its theme and its portrait of a young man who searches and acts and finds the search futile and the actions incoherent."

Mazer returns to the World War II era in a novel trilogy that includes A Boy at War, A Boy No More, and Heroes Don't Run: A Novel of the Pacific War. In A Boy at War readers meet fourteen-year-old Adam Pelko, whose naval officer father's reassignment to Hawaii has prompted the family's move to Pearl Harbor. Despite his father's disapproval, Adam makes friends with a Japanese-American boy named Davi Mori; the fateful morning that Japanese bombers begin making their deadly runs over the U.S. naval base on the harbor, the two boys are out fishing together. Focusing on racism and the violence of war, the novel presents what a Horn Book contributor called "a thought-provoking, sobering account of the human cost of war," while in Publishers Weekly a reviewer praised Mazer for presenting a
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"vivid" depiction of the Japanese bombing while inserting in his story "subtle suggestions of the complexities of Japanese-American relations as played out in particular lives."

Adam's story continues in A Boy No More, as he comes to terms with his father's death in the bombing of the USS Arizona and moves with his mother and younger sister to California as the United States enters World War II. While he endeavors to live according to his late father's wishes, when Davi asks for Adam's help in locating his Japanese-born father, who has been transported to a California internment camp, the teen must decide what friendship is worth. In Booklist, Carolyn Phelan noted Mazer's inclusion of factual information about the war period and called A Boy No More "a satisfying coming-of-age story in a well-documented historical setting." Adam's story comes to a close in Heroes Don't Run, as Adam enlists in the U.S. Marines, makes it through boot camp, and is then sent to the Pacific theatre in time to participate in the battle for Okinawa in 1945. Commending the novel's first-person narration of a young soldier's experiences, Carol A. Edwards wrote in School Library Journal that Mazer's story is "more realistic than many novels about combat" written for a young-adult audience. In "telegraphic, first-person prose," Mazer tells a story that a Kirkus Reviews critic praised for its "interesting detail," while noting that Heroes Don't Run is "strong on plot but short on character development." In Kliatt, Paula Rorhlick deemed Mazer's "spare, action-filled tale" "a good choice for reluctant readers and fans of historical fiction."

Other novels by Mazer include The War on Villa Street, about a boy's attempts to find stability in a family where his father's alcoholism and his mother's passivity mean constant upheaval and relocation. Ultimately his own passivity and sense of shame at his father's abuse cause the boy to fight back, building his self-confidence in the process. Also set in an urban area, Cave under the City takes place during the Great Depression, as two brothers find themselves parentless after their father's departure in search of work and their mother's subsequent collapse and hospitalization. When social workers attempt to separate the boys, they flee and live among New York City's homeless population until their father returns. The War on Villa Street was called "a moving, fast-paced story that once more proves Mazer's understanding of adolescence" by School Library Journal contributor Robert Unsworth, while Christine Behrmann noted in the same periodical that Cave under the City resonates with "the plight of today's homeless."

In addition to novel-length books and several collaborative efforts with his wife, Mazer has also written The Dog in the Freezer: Three Novellas, and edited the fiction collection Twelve Shots: Outstanding Short Stories about Guns. Focusing on dogs, the boys who own them, and the fathers who rule the family home, each of the stories in The Dog in the Freezer has a slightly quirky perspective. "My Life as a Boy" finds the family dog trading places with his human master for a day, while "Puppy Love" weaves a teen boy's summer crush on a pretty dog trainer with his growing affection for the puppy he adopted in order to gain the young woman's attention. In the title story, a boy struggles to figure out how to bury a neighbor's dead dog rather than leave it lying on the street. While of the opinion that Mazer is more adept at longer fiction, a Kirkus Reviews contributor praised The Dog in the Freezer as "an interesting departure."

Drawing on Mazer's personal concerns about modern society, Twelve Shots contains stories from a dozen authors who were asked to write about "not the politics of the gun, not the heated arguments or the polemics, but the way guns are present in people's lives." Mazer assembles works by well-known children's authors Walter Dean Myers, Chris Lynch, Frederick Busch, and Rita Williams-Garcia, among others, and also contributes his own short story, based on his novel The Last Mission. While the stories range from serious commentary on the devastation wrought by gun-related violence in modern society to humorous folk-like tales, Mazer's personal anti-gun slant is made clear. "Destruction clearly outweighs redemption in the bulk of these stories,"
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Elizabeth Bush commented in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, "with manipulative power, paranoia, or profound despair generally behind the trigger." Including statistics about guns and other helpful information, Twelve Shots is "timely and thought provoking" as well as "an excellent springboard for discussion," in the opinion of Booklist contributor Helen Rosenberg.

In his novels as well as his shorter works of fiction, Mazer's writing reflects his overarching belief in the essential goodness of people, particularly young people, according to critics. As Horn Book reviewer Margaret A. Bush observed, the author's "characters are down to earth, very ordinary people who are flawed, inept, good. Their eccentricities, loneliness, and dreams are lightly touched with humor." In his SAAS essay, Mazer concluded: "I think underlying all my writing has always been the belief that beneath the surface of our differences there is a current, a dark stream that connects all of us, readers and writers, parents and children, the young and the old. Despite the erosion of time the child in us never dies. The search for love never ends, the need for connection, the desire to know who we are, and the need to find someone of our own to love. How else do I keep writing for young readers?"

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Authors and Artists for Young Adults, Volume 5, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1990.

Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults, Volume 6, Beacham Publishing (Osprey, FL), 1994.

Butler, Francelia, editor, Children's Literature Review, Volume 16, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1989, pp. 125-133.

Dreyer, Sharon Spredemann, The Bookfinder: A Guide to Children's Literature about the Needs and Problems of Youth Aged 2-15, Volume 1, American Guidance Service, 1977.

Nilsen, Alleen Pace, and Kenneth L. Donelson, Literature for Today's Young Adults, Scott, Foresman, 1985.

Reed, Arthea J.S., Presenting Harry Mazer, Twayne (New York, NY), 1996.

St. James Guide to Young Adult Writers, 2nd edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.

Sherrard-Smith, Barbara, Children's Books of the Year: 1982, Julia MacRae, 1983.

Something about the Author Autobiography Series, Volume 11, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1991, pp. 223-240.

Wilkin, Binnie Tate, Survival Themes in Fiction for Children and Young People, Scarecrow Press (Metuchen, NJ), 1978.

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 15, 1993, Chris Sherman, review of Who Is Eddie Leonard?, p. 615; March 15, 1997, p. 1236; August, 1997, Helen Rosenberg, review of Twelve Shots: Outstanding Short Stories about Guns, p. 1899; August, 1998, John Peters, review of The Wild Kid, p. 2007; September 2, 2004, Carolyn Phelan, review of A Boy No More, p. 108.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October, 1997, Elizabeth Bush, review of Twelve Shots, p. 61; November, 1997, p. 109; December, 2004, Elizabeth Bush, review of A Boy No More, p. 175.

Children's Literature (annual), 1975, p. 206.

Horn Book, August, 1977; February, 1980; March-April, 1988, Margaret A. Bush, review of The Girl of His Dreams, pp. 209-210; September-October, 1998, Kitty Flynn, review of The Wild Kid, p. 611; May, 2001, Kitty Flynn, review of A Boy at War: A Novel of Pearl Harbor, p. 331.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 1974; January 1, 1980; May 15, 1985; September 15, 1985; October 1, 1986; March 15, 1997, review of The Dog in the Freezer: Three Novellas, p. 466; July 1, 1997, p. 1033; September 1, 2004, review of A Boy No More, p. 879; June 15, 2005, review of Heroes Don't Run: A Novel of the Pacific War, p. 687.

Kliatt, July, 2005, Paula Rohrlick, review of Heroes Don't Run, p. 13.

Los Angeles Times, March 12, 1988, Marianne Gingher, "A Boy Who Runs Meets a Girl Anxious to Catch Up."

New York Times Book Review, August 12, 1973, Cathleen Burns Elmer, review of Snow Bound, p. 8; November 17, 1974; December 2, 1979, Paxton Davis, review of The Last Mission, p. 41; September 13, 1981; November 15, 1981.

Publishers Weekly, November 1, 1985, p. 65; August 10, 1990, p. 446; February 10, 1997, review of The Dog in the Freezer, p. 84; May 7, 2001, review of A Boy at War, p. 247.

School Library Journal, October, 1971; December, 1978, Robert Unsworth, review of The War on Villa Street, p. 62; November, 1979; September, 1980; April, 1981; October, 1981, Kay Webb O'Connell, review of I Love You, Stupid!, p. 152; November, 1985; December, 1986, Christine Behrmann, review of Cave under the City, pp. 105-106; January, 1988, Libby K. White, review of The Girl of His Dreams, pp. 86-87; November, 1993, Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, review of Who Is Eddie Leonard?, p. 125; October, 1998, Carol A. Edwards, review of The Wild Kid, p. 140; May, 2001, William McLoughlin, review of A Boy at War, p. 156; May, 2004, Vicki Reutter, review of Snowbound, p. 65; September, 2004, Denise Moore, review of A Boy No More, p. 212; August, 2005, Carol A. Edwards, review of Heroes Don't Run, p. 131.

Voice of Youth Advocates, February, 1983, Ken Donelson, "Searchers and Doers: Heroes in Five Harry Mazer Novels," pp. 19-21; October, 1984; August, 1985; April, 1994, Ruth E. Dishnow, review of Who Is Eddie Leonard?, p. 29; August, 1997, p. 190; June, 2001, review of A Boy at War, p. 124; August, 2005, Jay Wise, review of Heroes Don't Run, p. 221.

Washington Post Book World, July 10, 1977.

ONLINE

Writers Block Web site, http://www.writersblock.ca/ (summer, 1998), Diana Bocco, interview with Mazer.

Norma Fox Mazer (1931–) Biography - Personal, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Work in Progress, Sidelights [next] [back] Gretchen Will Mayo (1936-) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights

User Comments

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over 3 years ago

Dear Mr. Mazer,

I have read three of your books it was the Boy at War trilogy. I liked them so much that I am starting the trilage over. I Love studying about the World Wars. I am 11 years old, and in the 5th grade. here are some questions I would like to know:

1. How did you come up with your characters Adam, Bea, Davi, and Martin?

2. What is your favorite book you have written?

3. What was it like living during WWII?

4.Were you old enough to serve during any part of WWII?

I thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Rion Dwight

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over 3 years ago

Hi Mr. Mazer,
My name is Garrett O'Neill, I go to KMS, I am 11 years old and i love to read about the war, my teacher Mrs. Keer let my read one of your books and i loved it so much. I am doing an author study project in school and I chose you! I love to read about war and when I start reading a war book I never stop reading it. I'm very interested about war and I play war games on my PS3, but when i was a a little kid i wanted to be in the army, but after reading your books and other books, I decided not to because it is dangerous and very bloody, i could also die. The first book I read that you wrote was A Boy At WAR and i loved it very much. Also thank you for your service to the United States Military. Please write back to me.
Thanks, Garrett O'Neill.

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over 3 years ago

Hi Mr. Mazer,
I am in 6th grade at KMS and i love to read about war. Your books are very good. When i read about war books i NEVER stop. I loved the book that happens in Pearl Harbor. I play war games because im interested in war and i want to learn more about it. Right now i am doing an author study and i choosed you because you write about war. Please Respond back.
Thanks Garrett O'Neill

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over 3 years ago

I Love your books

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almost 2 years ago

ur book is freakin beast

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almost 2 years ago

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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over 2 years ago

I'm doing a author study in 5th grade and I chose you I just want to ask a couple questions for school, Tel Daniel Fryer.How many books have you wrighten.Have you wrighten a book lately. what books have you wrighten

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almost 3 years ago

Hello, my name is Taylor Dryden. MY friends call me Socko because of something stupid i did a while back. Anyway, I thought that Harry Mazer was suuuuch a sweet little man. His books and junk are just SOOOOOOOOOOOO nice! lol. Anyway, I think you guys need to be nice, because you havenet probably never even wrote your own book. Okay, well. Bye Guys!!!!

I <3!!!

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over 3 years ago

I have so many questions for you. I am in 8th grade and have read the boy at war books. Please write me back.

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almost 2 years ago

put some sex in ur books

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almost 2 years ago

Dos Equis
Stay thirsty my friends!

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over 2 years ago

yo

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over 2 years ago

I'm doing a author study in 5th grade and I chose you I just want to ask a couple questions for school, Tel Daniel Fryer.How many books have you wrighten.Have you wrighten a book lately. what books have you wrighten

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about 3 years ago

cool

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almost 2 years ago

I saw your mom last night in the bed spongebob

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almost 2 years ago

kung fu will help you find fortune cookies

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almost 2 years ago

I like cheese cake

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almost 3 years ago

Hey, I am a mother of a 6th grader, whom has to do a book report for school. My son loves stories about anything to do with the bombing of Pearl Harbour. My son, Dylan, loves your book, A Boy at War. Your books sends a message of racism and war. I love the different points that you want your readers to think about. It is nice to know that there is an author out there that does care what our young readers think about. Thanks, A satisfied mother and reader, Annette.

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almost 2 years ago

I saw your mom last night in the bed spongebob

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almost 2 years ago

shut up austin

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over 3 years ago

interview with you im in fifth grade i need to know about you its a big grade and i need it please your my favorite author what was your expieriences

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about 1 year ago

more books mon

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almost 2 years ago

Im ready budddddyyyyy

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almost 2 years ago

I hate your books!!!!!!!!!!
My mom grounded me!!!!!!!!!!

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almost 3 years ago

.....and so begins the age of destruction and brimstone. Nothing shall stand in the wake of decimiation by fire. Your books have inspired me. I know now what i must do. We are Legion. We do NOT forgive. We do NOT forget.

Expect us.

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almost 4 years ago

You suck

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almost 2 years ago

my butt itches
can you scratch it for me justin

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about 3 years ago

cool

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almost 4 years ago

Wann wurde er gestorben?

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almost 2 years ago

shut up justin

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over 3 years ago

hi im learning

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5 days ago

Hello Mr. Mazer:

One of the earliest pocketbooks which I acquired was "The Girl of His Dreams." That was when I was just 14 years old. Now I am already 40. It was one of the best books I've read and I've learned a lot from that book, from self-discovery, perseverance, other moral values and most especially about love beyond physical aspects. Not only that, it inspired me to write. Writing stories enabled me to release my thoughts and my feelings. Though I have not excelled in the field of writing as you did, it helped me a lot in my present work now. Thank you for the inspiration. Thank you for Willie and Sophie.

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3 months ago

Hello Mr. Mazer,

I am an English teacher in North Platte, NE, and my 8th grade class just finished reading "A Boy at War" and loved it. In fact, they loved it so much we are reading "Heroes Don't Run" next. I was wondering, how could we send you letter?

Could we mail it to you?

Please write us back!

Thanks

Mrs. Robirds-Ham and class

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7 months ago

your all queers

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8 months ago

Dear Anette, I am a 6th grader who also loves the boy at war books as well as your son and am now also doing a report and that is what it is on just wanted to tell u that lol and I am hoping to be a marine when I grow up although ppl think it is strange bc im a girl but what the heck I play football better than half the boys so who cares def. not me :)

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8 months ago

Dear Anette, I am a 6th grader who also loves the boy at war books as well as your son and am now also doing a report and that is what it is on just wanted to tell u that lol and I am hoping to be a marine when I grow up although ppl think it is strange bc im a girl but what the heck I play football better than half the boys so who cares def. not me :)

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8 months ago

Dear Anette, I am a 6th grader who also loves the boy at war books as well as your son and am now also doing a report and that is what it is on just wanted to tell u that lol and I am hoping to be a marine when I grow up although ppl think it is strange bc im a girl but what the heck I play football better than half the boys so who cares def. not me :)

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8 months ago

Dear Anette, I am a 6th grader who also loves the boy at war books as well as your son and am now also doing a report and that is what it is on just wanted to tell u that lol and I am hoping to be a marine when I grow up although ppl think it is strange bc im a girl but what the heck I play football better than half the boys so who cares def. not me :)

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8 months ago

Hi Garrett I know that your comment was written like 3 yrs ago so ur either in 8th or 9th grade but did u go to kms in nc and if so what was it like there I go to ngms and am probably going there for 7th grade next year