Read B for Buster by Iain Lawrence Online


Nicknamed after his hometown of Kakabeka, Canada, Kak dreams of flying with the Allied bombers in World War II. So at 16, underage and desperate to escape his abusive parents, he enlists in the Canadian Air Force. Soon he is trained as a wireless operator and sent to a squadron in England, where he’s unabashedly gung ho about flying his first op. He thinks the night ops ovNicknamed after his hometown of Kakabeka, Canada, Kak dreams of flying with the Allied bombers in World War II. So at 16, underage and desperate to escape his abusive parents, he enlists in the Canadian Air Force. Soon he is trained as a wireless operator and sent to a squadron in England, where he’s unabashedly gung ho about flying his first op. He thinks the night ops over Germany will be like the heroic missions of his favorite comic-book heroes. Good will vanquish evil. But his first time out, in a plane called B for Buster, reveals the ops for what they really are—a harrowing ordeal.The bombing raids bring searchlights . . . artillery from below . . . and night fighters above hunting to take the bombers down. One hit, Kak knows, and B for Buster, along with him and his six crewmates, could be destroyed.Kak is terrified.He can’t confide his feelings to his crew, since he’s already worried that they’ll find out his age. Besides, none of them seem afraid. Only in Bert, the slovenly caretaker of the homing pigeons that go on every op, does Kak find an unlikely friend. Bert seems to understand what the other men don’t talk about—the shame, the sense of duty, and the paralyzing fear. As Kak seeks out Bert’s company, he somehow finds the strength to face his own uncertain future....

Title : B for Buster
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780385730860
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

B for Buster Reviews

  • Richie Partington
    2019-04-03 09:03

    12 July 2004 B FOR BUSTER by Iain Lawrence, Random House/Delacorte, June 2004, ISBN: 0-385-73086-1; ISBN Library: 0-385-90108-9"In an upstairs room in BlackpoolBy the side of a northern seaThe army had my fatherAnd my mother was having meMilitary madness was killing my countrySolitary sadness comes over me"--Graham Nash "Military Madness"As someone who couldn't kill another person for any reason, and who cannot condone governmental-sanctioned killing of any kind, World War II is an extremely complicated topic for me. The ongoing extermination of all those people by Hitler's forces would be something--if I had been alive at the time--I couldn't have just ignored. My response options wouldn't have been as simple as merely running away from the insanity, in the manner that I intended to avoid involvement in the Vietnam War, had it lasted a little longer."Is there anybody here who thinks, thatFollowin' the orders takes away the blameIs there anybody hereWho wouldn't mind a murder by another nameIs there anybody here whose pride is on the lineWith the honor of the brave, and the courage of the blindI wanna see him, I wanna wish him luckI wanna shake his hand, wanna call his namePut a medal on the man"--Phil Ochs, "Is There Anybody Here"Over the years I've gotten to know survivors and relatives of survivors of the Concentration camps, victims and relatives of victims of the Japanese Internment camps, as well as relatives and many family friends who fought for the US in The War.After the war my father, who was fifteen when they dropped The Bomb, joined the Army, trained to operate heavy machinery, boarded with German families, and helped clean up the massive devastation wrought in defeating Hitler.Schindler's List is one of my all-time favorite movies. The idea of successfully scamming the Nazis to save all those lives without resorting to violence--as Oskar Schindler is portrayed as having done--is certainly the kind of response to which I can relate.In my search for great books about WWII, LEFT FOR DEAD, THE DIVINE WIND, THE ART OF KEEPING COOL, and THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ADOLF HITLER top my list of recently published YA literature relating to that period of history.The latest YA tale set during World War II to intrigue me is Iain Lawrence's B FOR BUSTER, the story of a sixteen-year-old Canadian boy who has snuck away from his mother and abusive father, lied about his age and background, and finds himself in 1943 Yorkshire, England as a wireless operator in a squadron of the Canadian Air Force."I set the frequencies on my wireless. I fitted the screwdriver into the slot and turned it back and forth to match the numbers on my flimsy. It was a chore I had done so often, on so many [training] flights, that I found it hard to believe that I was doing it now on the way to Germany, astride a belly full of bombs. Then I grinned inside my mask to think that I was already on the battlefield, fighting in the boundless world of Superman and Buck Rogers, on a fabulous field that stretched in all directions and rose from the earth to the heavens. I imagined the people below turning their faces to the sky, telling each other, 'Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane. It's--the Kakabeka Kid!' "By the time this first op (mission) is complete, "Kak" and his fellow trainees have a rather different view of what they've gotten themselves into."The waiting is the hardest part"--Tom Petty"When I was still in school I read a story about a boy who had to choose between two doors. Behind one of them was a beautiful princess who would love him forever. Behind the other was a tiger who would kill him."I didn't remember anything else about the story, only those two doors and the boy's terror as he stepped forward to open one of them. But in the morning, at breakfast, I knew exactly how he felt."I stared at my plate and waited for the loudspeaker to come on, for that English WAAF to tell me if I would fly or not."The squadrons are sent out on bombing missions every night the weather is right. For Kak, nightmares follow missions follow nightmares as their patched-up Halifax, "B for Buster" repeatedly makes it to the various target cities and (barely) back while, one by one, other squadrons are blown out of the sky, leaving empty beds in the bunkhouse that are repeatedly refilled."And the battle's just begunThere's many lost, but tell me who has won?" --U2The author is supremely successful in portraying the sights, sounds, smells, and sweat of the plane and the incredible danger Kak's squadron is up against, as well as the destruction for which they are responsible.But Iain Lawrence's inspiration for writing this book involves the pigeons. Each of the Halifaxes carried homing pigeons who could be sent off to the base with a message, if a plane was fortunate enough to survive an "unexpected" landing, whether due to attack or to malfunction. And it is Kak's relationship with the slovenly, mysterious Burt the Pigeoneer that makes B FOR BUSTER an extraordinary tale. Taking refuge in the pigeon coop between ops, Kak comes to depend on the birds and their enigmatic keeper for his very sanity and survival."I stared at the pigeoneer. 'But what if lightning scared him so much that he couldn't fly home?'" 'Wouldn't 'appen, sir. Not to good birds like 'im and Percy. They want to get 'ome so badly that they keep on going, scared or not. That's courage, sir.'" 'No,' I said. 'Real courage is not being scared.'" 'Oh, no, sir. Pardon me.' He tipped his head, as though saluting.'Real courage is carrying on though you're scared to bits. It's doing what you 'ave to do. Birds are scared of lightning; men are scared of dying. Anything else wouldn't be proper, sir. But we all 'ave to carry on. Every little thing. Men and birds and fish and worms, we all just carry on.' "Readers won't learn anything about the causes or large-scale troop movements of World War II, for it is Kak's very personal perspective that we are tracking here, from utterly naive boy--who witnesses horrific sights of death, destruction, and ghosts--to a young man whose every future day will be colored by the War.B FOR BUSTER, is filled with action, and shows what It's really all about. (The reality Army recruiters like those in the Michael Moore movie couldn't begin to duplicate.)Richie Partington, MLISRichie's Picks http://[email protected]

  •  †Emily†
    2019-04-07 06:23

    It was a good book, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Michele Karmartsang
    2019-04-16 10:23

    Read aloud to the boys. Solid story, real characters, doesn't gloss over the emotions of war.

  • Tony
    2019-04-15 02:57

    Tony L.Bombs Away Bombers have been used in warfare since the great WW1, and have been used and improved upon ever since, but they have just not appeared in real wars. They have been shown in movies and added in many war books, but have you ever read a book or seen a movie where they put you in the shoes of an operator in the belly of the gigantic beast? I have read many war books and they are the only book genre I read, so I am quite critical for them, and since WW2 books are probably the most collective type of war books, it’s hard to be original. B for Buster is one of a kind in which it is very original and one of the best books I have read.Kakabeka is a 16 year old kid that lives in Kakabeka, Canada. With parents that don’t care about him and his dad (when he notices he is there) beats him. Soon he escapes from Kakabeka to join the air force with dreams of being a hero pilot that at the end of the war is rewarded with his very own Spitfire, so he lies about his age and told the air force he was an orphan. When he is enrolled and transported to an airfield in Europe he falls in love with flying in the massive Halifax called the B for Buster as a wireless radio operator, but soon when it comes time for the real thing; he is scared. Traumatized by the flak, searchlights, and the sight of bombers bursting into flames, he turns into the rest of the airmen; sad and miserable. Kak soon finds a friend, Bert the pigeoneer, a large, muscular, lonely pigeoneer who cares so much for the pigeons used in the bombers that he gave names to all of them, and weeps for ones who don’t come home. What will happen to Kakabeka, will he get so scared that he goes to his CO (Commanding Officer) and tell him the lies of his age? Why did Bert become a pigeoneer? Find out when you read this mysterious, realistic, book that keeps you on the edge of your seat with each bombing run. B for Buster is a great book for people who like adventure and thrillers, or enjoy stories of WW2. This book is comparable to No Man’s Land by Susan Campbell Bartoletti in which the main character is underage kid who joins a war and is scared. This book keeps you reading with so much detail. I really recommend it to middle school students to high school students.

  • Chandler McEwen
    2019-04-08 10:14

    "B for Buster" was a semi entertaining book for me but I'm not much off a reader this book managed to get my attention and adrenalin pumping during the action scene but I found the rest of it quite boring and unentertaining. B for buster is about a kid named Kak who is one of the under aged solders that signed up for the army or air force in this case. Kak not having much of a good life at home joined the air force before the eligible age and was sent to Britain to fly. When Kak arrives at an airfield in Yorkshire his secret is put to the test when his fellow hometown schoolmate Donny. While their kak and his crew are assigned to the bomber "B for Buster" a old Halifax mk 1 that has for sure seen better days.When his crew is taken to their assigned hut they realize just what Buster has seen by the scarce number of occupied cots in the hut. The next day they go on their first test flight in B for Buster and Kak is chilled by the story of the Halifax's previous crew. After that Kak talks to his fellow crew mates and discus their past life and what their future plans are after the war. "B for Buster" is a dramatic adventure set during one of the scariest times in history. I recommend this book to anyone who has studied World War II and would like to read fiction set during that time period, as well as to those who enjoy reading dramatic novels. I thought it captured the importance the various roles they take during wartime very well.Told through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old boy who shouldn't be their.

  • Ben Brenneman
    2019-04-06 03:27

    In B for Buster a kid everyone refers to as "the kid" or "kak" since he is from Kakabeka Canada is very desperate to get away from his horrid family consisting of an always intoxicated dad and a non-caring mom. So Kak decides at the age of 16 to enlist in the air force of World War II. Little does he know that the war is not a thing he was dreaming of, it is much worse. Kak is sent to Europe to fight with the allied forces and is set as a wireless operator and is placed with a crew he comes to love. While Kak is Europe fighting in the war he starts seeing what he believes are ghosts in B for Buster the plane they fly, so he starts to get very scared and wants to go home but he knows if he tries to desert he will be labeled as AWOL and he will end up like his new friend he meets Bert the pigeoneer who used to be a pilot in the air force. Kak finds out that they have to fly 30 ops in order to be sent home and Bert flew 29 ops before he saw what there final mission was and decided to quit and his crew ended up crashing and dying when they were just 3 miles from home because they had to get an inexperienced navigation pilot. Kak learns what war is really like and makes his decision in the end. I really suggest reading this book because it is full of action and mystery, the book always leaves wondering what is going to happen next to Kak and his crew and for this i suggest you pick up the book and read it.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-08 03:13

    Another one that I read for Abe with high hopes because I think we need a war novel on the list. But I didn't like this one. Kak runs away from his drunk father at the age of 16 to join the Royal Air Force. He works as a wireless operator in the belly of bombers and also takes care of the pigeon that was on every flight. Strange, huh. Homing pigeons were used to carry messages back to base if something happened to the aircraft. Usually if the bird came back on its own, the plane and its crew didn't. Depressing. The air battle scenes were great, and Kak bombs Berlin, Nuremberg and other German occupied towns, but the whole trying-to-find-a-father-figure plot was a turn-off to me. Awfully simplified for a young adult novel, so I think this one is more for middle school and junior high.

  • Laura
    2019-04-18 04:22

    I think this is more of a guy's book because I didn't really care all that much for it. It was mostly about war and pigeons and people's views on the value of life. I felt like it had a pretty good message, but it was kind of drowned out by all the "war" talk and suspense. You really wanted to know what happened next, but as soon as you were don with the book you didn't think it was all that remarkable.*This was written after I read the book - Teen's Top Ten review in 2005.It was okay. I just didn't get into the story and then there were some parts that I just went, "huh?" This isn't a book that I would recommend, but at the same time, I wouldn't not-recommend it.

  • Jori Richardson
    2019-04-02 09:21

    During World War II, 16 year old Kak steals his older brother's identity in order to enlist as an Air Force Bomber.I loved Iain Lawrence's writing. I have a few of his other books, most notably "The Wreckers" and its sequels, and loved them. Lawrence is great at writing tense action scenes and keeping a book moving.However, the writing style was the only thing I could enjoy about this story. I strongly disliked all of the characters. They never seemed all that well written or realistic, and the main character, Kak, is extremely annoying. Also, who in the heck has a name like Kak??!

  • Jack23
    2019-03-28 10:27

    B for Buster is a great book it has lots of interesting details and cool subjects. Its also gets scary at some points. Its about a boy who is only 16 that joins the military. He flies in a bomber plane and goes on special ops to attack different places in germany and what not. Its a sad book too the boy watches lots of his friends go down in horrible plane crashes. I really enjoyed this book and I liked the fact that he was to young to do something but he still did it. The book sends a really good message.

  • Frances Ann
    2019-04-04 07:26

    There's a lot of literature about the American bombing squads of WWII, but not so much about the RAF, especially in the young adult section. This book has been on my shelf for years, but I haven't picked it up until now and frankly I don't know what stopped me. While still bearing a fictional narrative plot it still captures some of the horrible realities of these young men endured. It is very well researched and incredibully personal. I fear that this book may be out of print, but there may still be some prints still availible in the market. I'm certainly holding on to my copy!

  • Emily Ann
    2019-04-17 07:22

    I thought this was a great book. I liked how the main character was portrayed, the description said he was a sixteen year old and the writer made him a sixteen year old. Kak is a naive sixteen year old who joins the army to get away from his alcoholic father. He joins the bombing force excited and ready but after his first opp nothings the same.I liked how it was written. The bombing scenes and the descriptions of the burning cities were intense. Some swearing but nothing too bad and not too graphic of scenes.

  • Jodi
    2019-03-30 05:06

    This is a great book taking place during World War 2 (Spring of '43). B for Buster is the name of an old Halifax MK1 - bomber plane. Kakabeka (the main characterk's nickname) is an under aged recruiter, who takes you into the life of a sprog (slang for inexperienced aircrew) or known as a Wireless Operator.

  • Melissa Mahle
    2019-04-24 08:19

    I give this book 6 stars. I was captured by the voice and plot from the first chapter. And the ending, OMG! This is a war time story that does not glorify war or sacrifice, but puts a very true feeling on what it means to be a young man serving in combat. Lawrence is a master! I intend to read every book he has written.

  • Harriette
    2019-04-11 07:08

    This book held my attention despite some of the criticisms that have been leveled against it: no named female characters and profanity used by its characters. The parallel development of Bert, the pigeoneer, and Kak, the underage boy who enlisted in the war, is well done. The historical elements were authentically presented.

  • TheIron Paw
    2019-04-03 05:20

    An excellent teen/young-adult novel providing a realistic portrayal of life and stresses in bomber command during the war (including the role of pigeons - which I never heard of before). Also an excellent story line of the struggles of an under-age crew member to come to grips with his fears. Where were all these great YA/Teen books when I was young?

  • Samantha Savage
    2019-03-26 03:27

    Okay so i didn't actually finish this book. i was supposed to read this for history class but i couldnt get through it so i switched to the book Animal Farm which in my opinion was much better. and after hearing a summary of the rest of this book, I am glad I didn't read it.

  • Jenn
    2019-04-08 06:17

    Iain Lawrence's novels are so hard for me to get through. I wanted to give this one a chance, but I disliked it as much as his previous works. Some middle school boys might like this WWII fighter pilot story, but I found it monotonous.

  • Kooby
    2019-03-28 04:18

    i thought the book was great one of my friends said it was boring, but to me it was stunning and at the end a little sad.

  • Maxwell
    2019-04-16 04:06


  • Julie Rand
    2019-03-28 06:23

    Gave me a new appreciation for the Allied pilots (and my father-in-law) who flew over Germany during WWII. I enjoyed reading it and talking about it with my son.

  • Camille
    2019-03-26 09:57

    I recommend this book to all my WWII boys. Great story.

  • Danielteska
    2019-04-01 07:21

    I cried so much I really did. I highly recommend it. Its a beautiful book and it captures the scene of the era and the feeling of the people who really did fly the bombers.

  • Jec
    2019-03-30 08:20

    a wonderful story which proves that you can read an excellent young adult book without a vampire in sight...check out this section of the library. this is one you should not miss.