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Friday, April 22, 2011

Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick

When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he's honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn't feel like a hero.

There's a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. Matt can't shake the feeling that he was somehow involved in his death. But because of a head injury he sustained just moments after the boy was shot, Matt can't quite put all the pieces together.

Eventually Matt is sent back into combat with his squad—Justin, Wolf, and Charlene—the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He just wants to go back to being the soldier he once was. But he sees potential threats everywhere and lives in fear of not being able to pull the trigger when the time comes. In combat there is no black-and-white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.

National Book Award Finalist Patricia McCormick has written a visceral and compelling portrait of life in a war zone, where loyalty is valued above all, and death is terrifyingly commonplace.


I love that this book is considered a "Young Adult" read.  I feel this should be read by every high school student who is interested in entering the army or other form of the military.  The story is heart-wrenching and eye-opening.  You can't help but feel for the soldier and what he is going through.  This is common for our soldiers fighting for our freedom.  The experiences they survive through are amazing, but the after effects are unfortunate.  Soldiers do not come back the same person they were before they left.  This particular novel is relative to the current situation our soldiers are facing.  The bravery, loyalty, and brotherhood these soldiers feel as amazing.  Death is all around them, but they survive the elements and work to make sure those back home are safe.  I believe this novel is important for our young people to read so they understand what the military is about and what our soldiers go through every day to ensure our freedoms.

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