Thursday, May 29, 2008


Walter Dean Myers has written several war stories. His latest, SUNRISE OVER FALLUJAH, gives today's teens a chance to learn more about the war that has filled their lives much like the Vietnam War occupied the minds of teens some 30 years ago.

Robin Perry aka Birdy has made the decision to enlist. Certain members of his family have expressed their concern and even disapproval of Robin's decision to serve. Through occasional letters to family members, readers learn about many of Robin's wartime experiences.

Robin's unit is assigned to handle civil matters between the troops and the citizens of Iraq. Although not supposedly in the direct line of fire, these soldiers still witness the horrors of war. They are part of the endless lines of army and marine vehicles traveling toward Baghdad. They experience the choking sand storms, the frightening IED explosions, and watch the grieving as fellow soldiers and Iraqi civilians become casualties of war.

Robin's feelings about the senselessness of the war are clearly expressed. As the events of his tour of duty unfold, he realizes if asked whether the Americans were winning or losing, he would find the question unanswerable. The promise of a quick return home for the troops turns into delay after delay as it becomes obvious that Saddam's reign may have ended, but many more deep-seated problems exist in war torn Iraq.

SUNRISE OVER FALLUJAH is a mere glimpse of the action through the eyes of few, but it is one of the first YA novels I've seen to deal with this controversial situation.

No comments: