October 24, 2011
A "colored" area in rural Georgia during World War II is the setting for the story of 15-year-old Caleb, whose brother, Randall, is in the army, waiting to be shipped overseas. This brings the war home to Caleb, as does the arrival of German POWs in the community. Torn between his loyalty to Randall and his discovery that a German can hate the Nazis as much as he does, Caleb is also fighting his own personal wars, against whites, against his domineering, angry father, and even--in a way--against God. Newly baptized to please his devout mother, Caleb has heard a voice he comes to believe is God's because he can't account for it any other way, and to his own astonishment he is able, twice, to heal afflicted people through prayer. In an era before the civil rights movement as we know it was born, Caleb lives with segregation, bullying, humiliation, and helplessness. Difficult as it is to put on humility and stay out of trouble, it's even harder to imagine that he is, somehow, special. A compelling coming-of-age story,Caleb's Warsportrays a young man who discovers his true calling, the kind of awareness that ultimately made the civil rights movement possible.
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