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Review: Purple Heart (Patricia McCormick) (original post 10/25/09)

TitlePurple Heart 
Author: Patricia McCormick
Genre: Youth Lit/ War Fiction
Pages: 198
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary: (from the flap) There's a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. Matt can't shake the feeling that he was somehow involved in his death. But because of a head injury he sustained just moments after the boy was shot, Matt can't quite put all the pieces together. Eventually Matt is sent back into combat with his squad, the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He just wants to go back to being the soldier he once was. But he sees potential threats everywhere and lives in fear of not being able to pull the trigger when the time comes. In combat there is no black-and-white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.

Review:  This book reminds me of Water Dean Myers' Sunrise over Fallujah, which is also about a young soldier in Iraq. Patricia McCormick spent time with soldiers and their families and the research paid off. This book is touching, interesting, and am amazing look into the daily life of US soldiers doing duty in Iraq. She makes it clear that there are no right answers, that there are times of fun and friendship as well as times of fear and frustration, where anyone can be a friend or enemy.

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