Sink or Swim: A Novel of WWII by Steve Watkins

Young Llama Thoughts
  • Adventurous
  • Christian Friendly
  • Easy Reading
  • Humerous
  • Youth Appropriate
4.1 Llamas


Did you know the youngest soldier in WWII was 12 years old? Crazy right?!?! But it’s true!!!! He was a sub-spotter on an American Navy ship, and this is a fictional story based on that boy.

The book is about a boy who’s older brother was going to go join the Navy, but he gets seriously hurt and the younger brother takes his place in the Navy.

Now, I don’t know if all the story is true, but in the book the boy goes on quite the wild ride. But the book does take place during WWII, so there is quite a bit of violence. Some soldiers get shot, a few ships explode and quite a few soldiers get injured. (But the book is recommended for 4th-6th graders so I guess it is kid-friendly. Nothing gets horribly described but there is mention of blood and dead men.)

Over all, this book was AWESOME!!!!! I TOTALLY suggest it and I am soooooo reading it again very soon! I hope  you all have a nice day! Stay healthy and read a lot!!! -The Young Llama Reader.


  • An amazing story for boys and girls. (Most;y boys)
  • Very clean for 4th to 6th graders.


  • A lot of violence due to WWII
  • Lots of people die in very sad ways….

It’s been a month since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. America is officially at war with Germany and Japan, and everyone wants to do their part. In twelve-year-old Colton’s case, that means stepping up at home once his older brother, Danny, ships out with the navy. But before Danny leaves for boot camp, the brothers are fishing on the Atlantic Ocean when Danny’s boat is capsized by a Nazi U-boat, nearly killing him.

When more U-boats start attacking the next day, Colton realizes just how close the enemy is to American shores. With Danny’s life in the balance, Colton does the only thing he can think of to help his family and his country: He steals his brother’s enlisting papers and joins up instead.

Colton’s bold decision leads to a deadly journey. Even if he can keep his age a secret and survive boot camp, he’ll have to face Hitler’s ruthless submarines. But the longer he’s on the seas, the less sure Colton is that he and his shipmates can stop such a relentless enemy . . .

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