Local author's novel 'The Burning Sea of Iron Bottom Bay' brings WWII naval history to life for teen readers

  • "The Burning Sea of Iron Bottom Bay" explodes off the pages for middle school students. The book can be found on Amazon at: amzn.to/3nXokEd

    "The Burning Sea of Iron Bottom Bay" explodes off the pages for middle school students. The book can be found on Amazon at: amzn.to/3nXokEd Courtesy of Rich Rostron

Updated 7/18/2022 9:23 AM

Friday, Nov. 13, 1942: Spotlights speared across the velvet darkness in the waters North of Guadalcanal as an outgunned group of American warships crossed paths with two Japanese battleships and their escorts. As quickly as the lights flicked on, the amber glow of gunfire shredded the intense black vail that had provided temporary sanctuary.

Autumn, 2022: This is the climatic setting of the story Kyle von Bergen and his friend Dylan hear from a great-grandfather Kyle had never met until he moved in with the 15-year-old and his mother. It's also the dramatic conclusion of a story that will affect Kyle in ways he wouldn't have imagined when he heard the old man was coming to stay. Kyle had enough on his hands: adjusting to high school and dealing with a bully who harbored a long-time grudge against the young man. Would this story tip the scales or give Kyle the strength to carry on?


"This is a tale of courage and heroism from a by-gone time," said author Rich Rostron. "But it's also a timeless story of learning to deal with hard times and overwhelming challenges. It's a story of the kind of strength we need now as much as ever."

Rostron said that he's worried that young Americans today have lost track of the sacrifices that were paid to preserve the freedom many take for granted today.

"That's one of the reasons I wrote this book, and wrote it for young adults and teens," he said. "But I also recall that I was about that age when I was introduced to the wonders between the covers of books in the library. It was the start of a life-long passion that I'd like to share with others."

He said the book is also written with a local flavor. "Though historical fiction, I used some of my favorite places in the book: Ethereal Confections, Happy Jacks, McHenry Applebees," he said.

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Rostron is an award-winning journalist who has spent time as a freelancer with The Chicago Tribune and numerous other publications, sports editor with The Woodstock Independent, and as the advisor to The Tartan, the student newspaper at McHenry County College. He currently publishes The Response, including McHenry County Response.

"This is the first in a series of books I plan to write about American history," he said. "I recently completed a research trip to New England for several books I want to write about the American Revolution."

"The Burning Sea of Iron Bottom Bay" by Rich Rostron is available on Amazon


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