Sunrise Over Fallujah – Walter Dean Myers

sunrise over fallujah

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.

The book’s narrator, Birdy, a young recruit from Harlem is questioning why he even enlisted. Marla is a blond, tough-talking, wisecracking gunner. Jonesy is a guitar-playing bluesman who just wants to make it back to Georgia and open a club.

They are just a few in a whole unit of other young men and women dropped in Iraq, where they are supposed to help secure and stabilize the countryside 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.”

I hate war books…I avoid them like the plague, BUT I really loved this book once I started it.  It has a depth I wasn’t expecting and focuses more on emotion than fighting and gross imagery.  I also don’t know that much about the geography and politics in Iraq and the Middle East (shocking to admit, I know!) and was able to learn quite a bit here without feeling like I was in school.     – Jessica, Teen Librarian

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