Robin "Birdy" Perry has never left Harlem. He was born, raised and graduated high school in Harlem. He just hasn't felt right about anything since 9/11, about all of those people dying so close to his home, so before he can think twice about his decision, he has joined the Army. He's headed to Iraq to be part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Civilian Affairs Battalion. It's exciting to be on a plane, to meet interesting people from all over the world, like Jonesy, the blues-loving, guitar player from Georgia, and tough, blond, scary-beautiful Marla. But he's also headed into a frequently terrifying world of war that he's not familiar with and is not sure he'll ever really understand.
Why It's Worth Reading:
The most obvious reason why this book is worth your time is because it's by YA legend, the late Walter Dean Myers, who has written no end of powerful, moving novels that prominently feature African-American teens. His novels have become YA classics, and Sunrise Over Fallujah is no exception. Additionally, the writing transported me to Iraq with Birdy and offered me the opportunity to understand what it might be like to experience war firsthand. For readers who have had a similar experience, it provides an avenue for them to see a part of themselves reflected in a piece of literature; to be reminded that they are not alone in their experience. For those, like me, who have the good fortune not to face war every day, we are given an opportunity to ponder a complex situation, to empathize with those who face it, and to gain new appreciation for the safety of our own backyards. Writing of this nature is difficult to read, but it is important.
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: May 1, 2008
Awards/Accolades: 6 starred reviews & a School Library Journal Best Book of 2008
Source: Personal copy (now donated to our library)
Do We Own a Copy?: Two!