Sunday, March 18, 2012

Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick

Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick

Matt Duffy is an 18 year old soldier in the Iraq war who has been hit by an RPG and is in the hospital with a head injury.  He has TBI, traumatic brain injury, and his memory is not reliable.  He thinks he killed a young Muslim boy in the alley before he got injured.  Matt receives a Purple Heart for being wounded, that he feels he doesn't deserve.

In the hospital Matt meets a variety of soldiers who are suffering from various physical or mental ailments.  A very colorful cast of characters.  Matt undergoes counseling, calls his mother and writes his girlfriend all while being interrogated for his involvement in the death of a Muslim boy.
Eventually Matt is released from the hospital and sent back to the war and his unit to face his fears and an unknown future.

Purple Heart puts you in the war zone where you have to witness death and destruction, sleepless nights and endless wishes.  McCormick is a great writer and this is the second book I have read of hers.  Purple Heart is timely as the U.S. pulls out of Iraq and remains in Afghanistan.  War is not black and white but full of gray areas where fear and doubt reside.  War is not pretty, fun or romantic and McCormick makes sure her readers know it.

I read this book aloud to my third hour class.  It is a good read aloud minus the swear words which I mostly skipped over.  I think Purple Heart is a realistic portrait of war and of a soldier's life.  Recruiters are at every high school signing kids up for a future they have not yet started.  Books like Purple Heart educate young adults about the real facts and dangers of war and arm them with the knowledge they need to make the important decisions of their life.

Share this book with a teenager in your life.

No comments:

Post a Comment