Title: The Sand Pounder – Love and Drama on Horseback in WWII | Author: M. J. Evans | Category: Young Adult Fiction | Genre: Historical Fiction | Publisher: Dancing Horse Press, 284 pages | Release date: September 2021
“M.J. Evans does an excellent job of winding the era’s history and the lesser-known job of the Sand Pounders into a realistic story of a mature teen’s determination to make a difference in her world.” – Diane Donovan for Midwest Book Review
“A gripping YA historical novel packed full of twists, turns and memorable characters. Highly recommended!”– The Wishing Shelf Book Review (UK)
Book Description: Fearing an invasion by German and Japanese forces during World War II, the U.S. Coast Guard enlisted horsemen to patrol the beaches along the east and west coasts. The unit was called “The Sand Pounders” and they rode their horses up and down the beaches from 1942 to 1944.
In Tillamook, Oregon, a young equestrian decided to join them. There was only one problem…they were only accepting men. That didn’t slow her down.
“The Sand Pounder” is a Young Adult historical fiction set during World War II.
My Thoughts: The drama of WWII is brought to life through the eyes of a young girl compelled to help her country by joining the little-known military unit called The Sand Pounders. As the U.S. is attacked on both shores, civilians are recruited to join the military in an effort to protect America from invasion. A teenaged girl disguised as a boy, and her horse, Star, enlist in the Coast Guard to patrol the beaches on the Oregon Coast. When a wounded sailor is found after a Japanese submarine is discovered off of the shores of Oregon, Jane will have to decide who to trust as she becomes entangled in the complicated lives of Japanese-Americans forced to choose a side.
Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, I was surprised to have never heard of The Sand Pounders or their activities during WWII. In this moving YA novel, Evans blends historical facts and a dramatic backdrop with relatable characters while weaving in a love story that entrances readers. The setting plays a vital role from typical weather patterns to locals’ characteristics that will be immediately relatable to anyone familiar with the area. This enjoyable novel blends history with fictional characters in a way that creates a compelling story full of authentic details.
Award-Winning, Best-Selling author, M.J. Evans grew up in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and graduated from Oregon State University. She spent five years teaching junior high and high school students before retiring to raise her five children. She is a life-long equestrian and enjoys competing in Dressage and riding in the beautiful Colorado Mountains.
connect with the author: website ~ instagram ~ facebook ~ goodreads ~ pinterest
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