Cover Image: Boy Underground

Boy Underground

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Member Reviews

I was aware that the timeline was during WWII and the setting was California but I was surprised to learn that the location was Northern California. I have read a lot of WWII novels but was not aware that Northern California was affected also. The story is a coming of age story between 4 male friends. Two of the friends become very close and when one is running from the law he asks for help and his friend hides him for quite a long time. I am not one to give out the whole story as I think the reader should read it for themselves. The end brought a nice finish that wrapped up how each friend survived the times and where they are currently. Thank you NetGalley and Catherine Ryan Hyde for a great ARC.
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This is an excellent read. It is wonderfully written and sensitively handles many emotional topics with great care and respect. It tells a story of tragedy, injustice, racism, homophobia and sexual orientation. The topics are dealt with in a considerate and understanding way. It provided much food for thought and is a book I think should be read by many.
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Boy Underground by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The Boy Underground was well written. The book deals with some really tough issues in the world.
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I loved this book, from the moment I picked it up it was hard to put down. I’ve read many of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s books and while I won’t say this one was my favorite it still
Kept me interested. The story follows four young men Steven, suki, Ollie and Nick in the 1940s, the World War II and the shocking trials and tribulations of their lives. Thought it all they remained friends and stayed in touch.  It touched on sensitive subjects and how choices can affect our life’s. It was a beautiful story and I am grateful for the chance to be able to read early and give my honest review. Thank you NetGalley and the author for this opportunity! Wasn’t my first CRH book and I’m sure it won’t be my last!
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Thank you NetGalley for the ARC

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The author is new to me but I will be exploring her back catalogue based on this book. The premise would not have attracted me to the book, mainly due to the market saturation of WW2 related books. But when a story is told as well as this, it is well worth taking the plunge. Rather than being just another story with a wartime backdrop, there is originality here in exploring the detentions camps for Japanese citizens in the US and the exploration of a young boy's homosexual awakening.  There is a very bleak view of parenthood here with many of the characters finding the only care from friends in this case life long friendships. Beautifully written and evocative of its time, this is much more than yet another wartime novel.
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Catherine  Ryan Hyde has done it again. She has written an insightful beautiful, although sometimes brutal story you will finish, ponder and remember. Each of her books are different but each special in it's own way. This book was set in the begining of WWII. told mainly from the point of view of 14 yr old Steven Katz. A true coming of age story of 4 friends from diverse backgrounds and income levels.Acurate history and great interpersonal interaction. Thank you to Net Galley, Catherine Ryan Hyde  and the publisher for ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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A wonderful story about friendship standing up to prejudice. Themes of homosexuality, Japanese internment  we’re handled beautifully
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Grateful to the author and publisher for allowing me to read an early copy of Boy Underground. I am a huge fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde.  No one tells a story quite as exquisitely as she does. 4 friends, 4 different backgrounds. Was not easy for any of them growing up.  This is not just a coming of age story.  It is much more than that ! Beautiful from beginning to end. This is a must read !
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I’m a fan of this author, though this book was nothing like her others! I loved it… she writes with such compassion and always leaves you reaching the end of a page and wanting more!  The four main male characters were genuine, believable and true friends! I would recommend this book
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Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

14-year-old Steven Katz has found new friends in Nick, Ollie and Suki, a friendship his parents disapprove of. The boys bond during a hike in the Sierra Mountains. After the bombing of Pearl Harbour they go their separate ways: Ollie enlists, Nick must flee and Suki and his family are forced from their home and brought to the internment camp Manzanar.

This is a beautifully written novel and Steven is an amazing protagonist. He is incredibly lonely even when admidst his family until he meets the other boys. Even though their time together is short, their bond is strong. Although the events threaten to overhelm Steven, he tries everything to help the other boys, never conforming to society.

I will be recommending this book to others and will continue to look for works by Catherine Ryan Hyde.
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I loved this book so much! All of Catherine Ryan Hyde's
books are different from each other and such a wonderful
All of them have a lesson to be learned and I remember her
books long after I finish each one. 

Thank you so much, NetGalley, the Publisher, and the writer
for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for my
honest review.
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When I started this book by Catherine Ryan Hyde I expected to read an amazing book as her other books were so great.  When it started off different I was surprised that I wasnt thrilled with it.  It was a story of friends - Suki, Nick, Ollie and Stephen which takes place the beginning of a war, the middle and the end of which brings us through many decades of friendship.

I was prepared to make this a 3 star read but the more I read the book the book hooked I was.  The friendship of these men was amazing, heartwarming and chilling.  When the bombing of Pearl Harbor draws the US into World War II, Suki and his family are forced to leave their home for the internment camp at Manzanar. Ollie enlists in the army and ships out. And Nick must flee. Betrayed by his own father and accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he turns to Steven for help. Hiding Nick in a root cellar on his family’s farm, Steven acts as Nick’s protector and lifeline to the outside world.

It takes place at a time when people were more narrow minded and not so forgiving.  So what I am saying is stay with the story because it will bring you to tears and make your heart wrench because friendship is what it is all about.  #fivestars #kindleunlimited
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Big fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde! This could be my favorite book from her! The characters are well developed and makes you think of someone you know in real life. She is such a great story teller! I love historical fiction, and she did an amazing job with this book. Would definitely recommend!
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A wonderfully written book. Reading about a 14 year old realizing he is gay and his life evolving dealing with this.  It takes place in the 1940’s and touches on the internment of the Japanese people during the era of Pearl Harbor. He is a very compassionate child as you read about the length he’ll go to help his Japanese friend. There are several other boys with their own problems and how he deals with them. along the way to trying to make everyone have a happier life including himself
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I really enjoyed this book, as is so often the case with books by Catherine Ryan Hyde. Her characters are so well written. This book is about a group of friends living in America at the start of World War II and the large American Japanese population of the community, who are interned in camps when Japan becomes involved it the war. This is am of history that I don't know enough about and definitely plan to explore further.
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I really enjoyed “Boy Underground”.  The writing was excellent, as it always is with Catherine Ryan Hyde.  The story held my interest and kept me wanting to read more. I think this would be a good book for high school students as it is about high school boys in a CA town during WWII and deals with topics that affect young men.  Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC.
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Very insightful book about a gay boy, finding his place in the world. Sadder than I expected, even with a positive ending, but it's still a good read.
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⭐⭐⭐⭐ +
Time Period 1941-1945 
Location: Rural California 
Our narrator and protagonist is young 14 year old Steven Katz. He is aware that he is more fortunate than his classmates whose dad’s work as farm laborers for his landowner dad, however, he isn’t of the belief that he is better.
 When he starts high school he is friendless as he had a hard time fitting in and is teased.
He develops a friendship with a new group of high school friends Nick, Saki, and Ollie ~ all sons of field workers; his parents especially his mother doesn’t approve.

He and his new friends plan to go hiking on an overnight trip in the Sierra Mountains. For one reason or another they don’t go until Saturday, December 6, 1941.  This trip has created a special bond with these new friends. However, the next day their lives change forever!

Immediately the police are seeking Nick. He was betrayed by his father for a bar fight his dad was in and states Nick was in the fight and he was trying to break it up. In fact, has a witness who confirms his story.
 Nick is on the run and seeks help from Stephen who hides him. 

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Saki and his family are gathered with 10,000 other Japanese families and taken to Manzanar; before leaving Saki asks if Stephen would take care of his grandmother’s little dog Akira as they are not permitted to take animals.

Since Stephen is helping Nick hide, he figures the little dog might be nice to keep him company. He is sooo right! The bond Nick has with Akira is really special.

Since Ollie enlisted Stephen doesn’t have any close friends. He is befriended by an elderly Chinese man Mr. Gordon Cho who becomes a mentor.

I could have finished this in one evening. It is definitely one of those read where I say ~ “Just One more chapter!” 
I finished this morning which gave me a chance to digest what I had read, if not I probably would have been up half the night thinking about it.
The last chapter “My Life’s Epilogue” is very special as is the entire book!

Although I have only read a few Catherine Ryan Hyde novels and she does NOT disappoint! I look forward to my next read!

Want to thank NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for this uncorrected eGalley.
 This file has been made available to me before publication in an early form for an honest professional review. Only fitting that the Publishing Release Date scheduled for December 7, 2021
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CRH’s newest novel is a little different from her previous work. Boy Underground is set in the WWII era. As historical fiction Ryan Hyde did a fantastic job portraying the period details. I’m pretty picky about historical details, and this book passed my critique. 

I was especially struck by Catherine Ryan Hyde’s descriptions of Manzanar, a WWII Japanese internment camp just east of the Sierra’s and south of Bishop, CA. I’ve made Manzanar National Historical Site a stop every time I drive up US 395 and was happy to see CRH describe the details of this camp with accurate details. I loved the way she first brings it into the story, as well as how she returns to it later in the novel. 

This book is unique among most other WWII era historical fiction. It doesn’t focus on stories related to battles or events in Europe or the Pacific. Instead, the novel focuses on the home front - a rural farming region near Fresno, CA..   

More than its historical context, though, is this story’s portrayal of friendships between a group of boys. Each boy has his own struggle to confront, but their friendships transcend the circumstances.  The book is told from one teenage boy’s perspective and his voice is true to his age and generation.  Steven Katz is struggling to come to terms with who he is and how he will stay true to his convictions.  My heart melted, cried and cheered for him - an emotional journey I expect from this author.

If you look for books where people struggle with real problems - societal and personal - and where there is a generally satisfying conclusion then you will probably enjoy this book. If you are already a fan of this author, then you have another winner. This is one of her best books, for sure.
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This is the story of Steven and his journey with his 3 friends back when WWII broke out. When the book started, Steven is just becoming friends with Suki, Ollie and Nick.  I thought the beginning of the story and the way they became friends was weak.  However, once I it got going, I quickly got sucked into the story of their relationship and how it was changed by the events of WWII.  Steven is an old soul who realizes that all people should be treated equally.  The people in his town and even his own parents do not agree, but Steven is not afraid to stand up for his friends and for what he believes in.  There are themes of racial injustice, social injustice and homophobia in this book.  There were a few things that seemed a bit farfetched because they happened too easily, but all in all, this was a powerful book that I really enjoyed reading. #BoyUnderground #NetGalley
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