Saturday, September 16, 2006
Search and Destroy by Dean Hughes
Guys who want to know what it was like to fight in Vietnam will want to read this book. It is about a teenager who enlists in the army in order to escape his dead-end future and to "experience life." What he finds out is that war is horrible, and this one is particularly awful because he can't find any reason for the U.S. to be at war with the Vietnamese. He discovers many of his fellow soldiers to be heavy-drinking and cruel, and the only one who befriends him seems to be a strange religious nut. Guys will particularly like the descriptions of how the soldiers moved through the jungle and worked together under terrifying circumstances. As an adult, I just found it incredibly sad that we sent so many young men off to kill and be killed. I wouldn't say it was the most fluid plot and dialogue I've ever read, but it's a good fit for middle school guys.