Operation Iraqi Freedom, that's the code name. But the young men and women in the military's Civil Affairs Battalion have a simpler name for it: WAR.
In this new novel, Walter Dean Myers looks at a contemporary war with the same power and searing insight he brought to the Vietnam war of his classic, Fallen Angels. He creates memorable characters like the book's narrator, Birdy, a young recruit from Harlem who's questioning why he even enlisted; Marla, a blond, tough-talking, wisecracking gunner; Jonesy, a guitar-playing bluesman who just wants to make it back to Georgia and open a club; and a whole unit of other young men and women and drops them in the country in Iraq, where they are supposed to help secure and stabilize Iraq and successfully interact with the Iraqi people. The young civil affairs soldiers soon find their definition of "winning" ever more elusive and their good intentions being replaced by terms like "survival" and "despair."
Caught in the crossfire, Myers' richly rendered characters are just beginning to understand the meaning of war in this powerful, realistic novel of our times.
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"This fine book could be included with a unit on current events and is a good choice for boys. Ages 12-18" - VOYA.
"Through precise, believable dialogue as the catalyst.... Myers's expert portrayal of a soldier's feelings and perspectives at the onset of this controversial war allows the circumstances to speak for themselves." - School Library Journal.
"Given the paucity of works on this war, this is an important volume, covering much ground and offering much insight. Ages 12+" - Kirkus Reviews.
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Walter Dean Myers's fiction and nonfiction books have reached millions of young people. A prolific author of more than one hundred titles, he received every major award in the field of children's literature.
Myers (19372014) wrote two Newbery Honor Books, eleven Coretta Scott King Award winners, three National Book Award finalists, and the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. He also received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults and was the first recipient of the Coretta Scott KingVirginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was a 2010 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and was nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Award numerous times.
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