Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
This is the only novel I have read about the Iraq war, and as is typical, when I read young adult historical fiction, I learn so much from the details of the story. Robin is an 18-year-old African American soldier from Harlem. He's part of a Civil Affairs Battalion that includes male and female soldiers. Their job in Iraq is not to enter into combat, but to "win the hearts and minds" of the people. However, nothing is that clear-cut in Iraq in the weeks and months following the fall of Baghdad. Robin sees firsthand the horrors of war and participates fully in them. Myers gives readers a variety of personalities in Robin's comrades. Their variety of motives, opinions, and political views make this book a really balanced look at a controversial war. The female characters were especially interesting to me. Of course, this book contains violence and the atrocities of war. Iraqi children as well as American soldiers are killed. But that is what war is like and Americans should not hide from the truth. I know this book will be deservedly popular with middle schools boys.