Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sunrise Over Fallujah

Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
Robin's parents aspire for him to go to college, but following September 11, he feels compelled to join the Army instead. By early 2003, Robin has completed Basic Training and is deployed to Iraq where he becomes part of a Civil Affairs Unit charged with building the trust of the Iraqi people to minimize fighting. Civil Affairs soldiers are often put into deadly situations to test the waters, and Robin finds that the people in his unit, who nickname him "Birdy," are the only ones he can trust. Robin quickly learns that the situation in Iraq will not be resolved easily and that much of what is happening there will never make the news. Facing the horrors of war, Robin tries to remain hopeful and comforting in his letters to his family, never showing his fear or the danger he actually faces.

2 comments:

Dr.K/educ318 said...

Got an advance copy of this from Mr. Myer's representative at Scholastic after chairing a panel discussion with him at NCTE last November. "Fallen Angels" is my favorite novel by Myers, and it's remarkable how powerfully a similar story of "how war gets in you" can be told in the context of the current conflict. Remarkably depressing, I should say. Myers does a fine job of honoring the bravery and humanity of the men and women serving in the armed forces while still demonstrating the absurdity of what our leaders have asked them to do in Iraq.

Leonard Marcus/NYTimes Book Review said...

This is an astonishing book. Like the war it chronicles, its main characters’ stories have not yet come to a close; Birdy and the others are all up for reassignment after a harrowing mission that one of their crew does not survive. We leave them not knowing who will make it home. Birdy takes a moment to write his Uncle Richie in Harlem: “I used to be mad with you when you wouldn’t talk about Vietnam. I thought you were being selfish, in a way. Now I understand how light the words seem.”