I've already reviewed this book, but this one is the young adult version. I normally don't read abridged versions, and I didn't like how this book was "Written down" to teens. Nothing important was taking out, but I read the original version and I think older teens could understand it just fine. This one felt more like a kid's book. Personally, I think kids should just wait till their older and read the original. But there is something about this YA version that I liked so much I had to buy it.
As I said, the same story was in this one. Louie's wild boyhood, his 47 days on a raft with his best friend Phil, and his time as a Japanese POW and the abuse he endured from the Bird. It was "toned down" which I don't like, but the basic story is the same.
It's the end of the book which had the biggest change and which had me squealing into my blankets in the middle of the night so I would't wake my family.
Phil, Louie's fellow POW, never talked much of the war when he got back. There is some of his life at home in the first book. Parts about how he read to his kids, how he would sit on his porch swing at night, and how he never flew again except for the time he went to see his daughter after she died. This always made me sad. I love Phil, I wanted to know more about Phil. It was great hearing about Louie, BUT PHIL!
The YA version gave me little added bits. Not a lot, but enough to make me insanely happy and text my best friend in squealing all caps.
I guess after he went to a nursing home, older Phil finally opened up about the war. His daughter said he would sit and talk to the other people in the home, telling them stories. And some of these made it into this book. I have NO idea why they weren't in the first version, but I was happy to find them in this one.
And the best part is there is a picture of Phil, Cecy, Louie, and Cynthia all at dinner together. That was the best discovery in the history of discoveries.
So, while I would insist everyone read this book I would advice you read the original version first and then this one. This one is worth it for Phil, BECAUSE HE'S RUSSELL ALLEN PHILLIPS!