Vietnam #3: Free-Fire Zone

Vietnam #3: Free-Fire Zone

4.5 12
by Chris Lynch
     
 

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Morris, Rudi, Ivan, and Beck are best friends for life. So when one of the teens is drafted into the Vietnam War, the others sign up, too. Although they each serve in a different branch, they are fighting the war together -- and they promise to do all they can to come home together.

Rudi is perhaps the most concerned about whether or not he'll be able to

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Overview


Morris, Rudi, Ivan, and Beck are best friends for life. So when one of the teens is drafted into the Vietnam War, the others sign up, too. Although they each serve in a different branch, they are fighting the war together -- and they promise to do all they can to come home together.

Rudi is perhaps the most concerned about whether or not he'll be able to keep that promise. After all -- and he'd be the first to admit this -- he's not the most capable guy. He's not smart like Beck, or brave like Ivan. He lacks the strength of Morris's moral convictions.

But once Rudi is pulled kicking and screaming into the Marines, he at last finds something he's good at: following orders. Will that be enough to keep him alive? And if he does survive the war, will his best friends even recognize him on the other side?

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
When Rudi received his draft notification he was beside himself. Sure, life in his neighborhood in Boston was tough as he was often bullied; but going to fight in Vietnam was another level of fear altogether. Rudi is surprised when his three closest friends elect to join various branches of the armed services and head out to Vietnam along with him. Once Rudi arrives in Southeast Asia he is overwhelmed by two things. First, warfare is nothing like he imagined it to be. Second, Rudi discovers that he is both a good Marine and capable of excelling in combat. Rudi swiftly becomes the go-to soldier in his company and willingly volunteers for the most dangerous and violent assignments. All through this evolution Rudi stays in touch with his friends but they see changes in him reflected in his letters. By book's end Rudi seems a strange bundle of contractions featuring personal bravery, purpose, and a growing detachment from the suffering of himself and others. Free-Fire Zone is book three in a four volume series based upon the wartime experiences of four friends serving in the American Armed Services during the later phases of the Vietnam War. In Free-Fire Zone author Chris Lynch presents readers with a gritty and unflinching look at what combat does to people. By book's end readers will wonder what could be worth such suffering? While elements of the other books in this series contain some plot points that stretch the reader's credulity, Free-Fire Zone does not, thus making it a sobering and powerful selection for adolescent readers. Reviewer: Greg M. Romaneck
From the Publisher

Praise for Chris Lynch's World War II series:

• "An expertly crafted war story with fluid prose, bleak humor, careful attention to historic detail, and a view of 'The Good War' worth pondering." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review

"All the sizzle, chaos, noise and scariness of war is clay in the hands of ace storyteller Lynch." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Though aimed at younger readers, Lynch doesn't write down, instead offering a powerful taste of war on a personal level." -- Publishers Weekly

Praise for Chris Lynch's Vietnam series:

"The best Vietnam War novels yet for this age range." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Lynch brilliantly captures the war in small details." -- Booklist

"A fine balance of thoughtfulness and gritty action." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780545270281
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/25/2013
Series:
Vietnam Series, #3
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
183,296
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 5.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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