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Wayne Johnson
Author, Illustrator
The Militarized Zone: What Did You Do in the Army, Grandpa?

   In the spirit of M*A*S*H and Good Morning, Vietnam, The Militarized Zone: What Did You Do in the Army, Grandpa? is a predominantly humorous tale told by Will Jensen, a twenty-three year old, easygoing college grad, musician and business owner, intent on getting through life having a good time without causing problems for others. In 1969 Will is drafted but determined to make his time in the military pleasant. His determination is tested when he’s assigned to Eighth Army Headquarters in Seoul, Korea, where he experiences love and loss, joy and tragedy, and gets a true education about life.

Quarter Finalist

Plot/Idea: 9 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.25 out of 10

Assessment:

After initially avoiding the draft, Will Jensen finds himself stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, in the summer of 1970.  Because of his rank, he is sent to Korea where he gets a true education about life.  Humor and believable characters leave the reader wondering if this is the author’s actual experience.  While the plot lacks extreme rising action and is a retelling of situations, the author pulls them together and takes the reader on Will Jensen’s journey.

Date Submitted: July 19, 2016

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