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Only You Can Save Mankind
by Terry Pratchett

Category: Fiction / Fantasy
0 pages; ISBN: 0060541865

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

Only You Can Save Mankind
Terry Pratchett
HarperCollins, Jul 2005, $15.99
ISBN: 0060541865

Twelve years old Johnny Maxwell loves to play computer games especially those with alien battles. His favorite game at the moment is ONLY YOU CAN SAVE MANKIND in which he battles the ScreeWee.

However, something weird out of virtual reality happens when a ScreeWee Captain announces to him that she and her troop surrender and ask for safe passage back to their sector of space. She explains that this is no game for when a ScreeWee dies they really are dead. A stunned Johnny does not know what to do with all these prisoners of war as he is only a preadolescent. Adding to his burden is when he sleeps he seems to enter the computer world in which he can only wake when he dies as the Americans bomb Baghdad in Gulf War I.

Written during the first Gulf War, ONLY YOU CAN SAVE MANKIND is a powerful condemnation of war as a means to solve disputes. The story line targets the preadolescent crowd, but adults will enjoy the action-packed tale as the bewildered hero makes a plea for peace. Making no apology with his in your face claim that we are all humans whether we live in America, Darfur, Iraq, North Korea or ScreeWee, Terry Pratchett argue we need to live together in peace and harmony instead of sending our young (that is someone else’s children) to fight when we ought to seek respectful peaceful solutions to a crisis.

Harriet Klausner

 

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