The Sand Pounder

“The Sand Pounder” is a Young Adult historical fiction set during World War II. 

About The Sand Pounder

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

I loved every moment of this young adult historical fiction – it has action, courage and hope in the face of the uncertainty, racism and fear in World War II.

After reading this novel, I had to look up the term Sand Pounders. This was a new term to me and I didn’t realize that during World War II, the US Coast Guard launched a beach patrol. This group took over many functions of the Coast Guard as well as keeping an eye out for enemy ships, stopping communication from ships to land and reporting any enemy landings along the coastline of Oregon.

Jane is a young woman whose life has been turned upside down by the war. Her brother has enlisted and heads off to war efforts, she is a first hand witness to her Japanese neighbours being forced out of their home and to an internment camp, all while she herself is living alone. Jane is angry at the treatment of her neighbours, who are good American citizens and whose family name should not be held against them – they are American first, not Japanese. Jane wants to help out the war efforts but as a female she is not left with many options (and she is a very talented young woman). With the Sand Pounders only accepting males, Jane did what she had to do to join the group and to do her part (go Jane!).

I loved this novel and I strongly believe so will many young adults. We learn about a group of individuals that I had no idea existed during World War II and we also touch on some very important topics – racism, the treatment of Japanese Americans and sexism. Jane is the first to defend her fellow Americans – to her they are Americans first, not Japanese. These are good people that have contributed to their community and are facing persecution for their family history despite being contributing members for many years, business owners and friends. Jane is the perfect example that your gender does not impact your ability to succeed. She is just as smart, fast and good at her role as any other male.

This was a special novel that I enjoyed from start to finish – a great read for young adults (both male and female). It encourages you to learn more about the treatment of Japanese Americans, internment camps and even the war efforts at home. I think that this is the most important aspect of any historical fiction – that it empowers you to learn more and question what you do know. This is a definite must read novel for young adults.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

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.

You can connect with the author on their website.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


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