Fallen Angels

Fallen Angels

4.6 219
by Walter Dean Myers
     
 

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A coming-of-age tale for young adults set in the trenches of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, this is the story of Perry, a Harlem teenager who volunteers for the service when his dream of attending college falls through. Sent to the front lines, Perry and his platoon come face-to-face with the Vietcong and the real horror of warfare. But violence and death aren't… See more details below

Overview

A coming-of-age tale for young adults set in the trenches of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s, this is the story of Perry, a Harlem teenager who volunteers for the service when his dream of attending college falls through. Sent to the front lines, Perry and his platoon come face-to-face with the Vietcong and the real horror of warfare. But violence and death aren't the only hardships. As Perry struggles to find virtue in himself and his comrades, he questions why black troops are given the most dangerous assignments, and why the U.S. is even there at all.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A tour of duty for a young soldier in Vietnam is vividly presented in Myers's exceptional novel. Ages 13-up. (May)
Children's Literature - Sara Rofofsky Marcus
With the addition of extensive "About the Author" and "Interview with Walter Dean Myers" sections, this anniversary edition of the Coretta Scott King award-winning book tells of seventeen-year-old Richie Perry's journey to Vietnam from the Projects in New York City. A modern-day All Quiet on the Western Front, this work draws upon Myers' experienced knowledge of the jargon of New York City and the boys of the day, heavily sprinkled with curses and other terminology only heard on the streets of New York City. By showing what is going on in the minds of teenagers both drafted and volunteering to serve their country, the reader is drawn into the experience, sharing the good and the bad. Hiding no horrors, the reader experiences death, fear, loss, friendship, hate, racism, and hope for the future along with the characters in the army, particularly Richie's friends, Peewee, Lobel, Johnson, and Brunner. A useful book for any literature tie-in with a history class studying war or racism, this work will assist students in gaining a real-life understanding of what occurs during such situations, rather than solely the facts studied in a traditional history course. Reviewer: Sara Rofofsky Marcus
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up A riveting account of the Vietnam War from the perspective of a young black soldier. Richie Perry, a 17 year old from Harlem, arrrives in Vietnam in 1967. His first-person narrative provides an immediacy to the events and characters revealed. His experiences become readers' experiences, as do his fears and his insight about this war, any war. ``We spent another day lying around. It seemed to be what the war was about. Hours of boredom, seconds of terror.'' During one of those terrifying times, a large number of American soldiers are killed. Because they cannot be carried back, the decision is made to burn the bodies. ``I was afraid of the dead guys. I saw them, arms limp, faces sometimes twisted in anguish, mostly calm, and I was afraid of them. They were me. We wore the same uniform, were the same height, had the same face. They were me, and they were dead.'' In the end, when Richie is wounded, he returns home. This is a compelling, graphic, necessarily gruesome, and wholly plausible novel. It neither condemns nor glorifies the war but certainly causes readers to think about the events. Other difficult issues, such as race and the condition of the Vietnamese people, are sensitively and realistically incorporated into the novel. The soldiers' language is raw, but appropriate to the characters. This is a book which should be read by both young adults and adults. Maria B. Salvadore, District of Columbia Public Library

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545055765
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
05/01/2008
Edition description:
Anniversary Edition
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
43,469
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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