Reading Lost Boys by Darcey Rosenblatt ($23.99, Raincoast Books, Henry Holt and Company) made me, once again, very grateful to live in Canada where not only do I live in peace, but where it is not OK to send my 12 year old into battle.

And be honoured he died fighting.

Lost Boys is about 12-year-old Reza, who has no interest in joining Iran’s war effort, but after a tragedy strikes, and at his mother’s urging – and her comment she would be honoured if he died in battle – he enlists, assured by authorities he will achieve paradise if he dies serving his country. War doesn’t bring glory to the boys of Iran, and they wind up in a prison-of-war camp in Iraq where guards threaten – and act on – violence.

The story, while a work of fiction, is based on true events, and heartbreaking ones.

I couldn’t imagine wishing my son into battle no matter what the cause, nor could I imagine telling him that it would be an honour if he died.

I couldn’t imagine how those boys felt when they discovered their purpose in the battle, and how terrified they must have been while in prisoner-of-war camps.

When my son is a bit older, I plan to read him this book so he, too, can be grateful to live in Canada, and of the choices he can make.

A copy of this book was provided by Raincoast Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.