Purple Heart

Purple Heart

by Patricia McCormick
4.2 49


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Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick

When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he's honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn't feel like a hero.

There's a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. A little boy who'd been Matt's friend. And 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-Justin, Wolf, and Charlene-the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He's counting on his buddies to help find out the truth. But in combat, there is no black and white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.

National Book Award Finalist Patricia McCormick has written a visceral and compelling portrait of life in a war zone, where loyalty is valued above all, and death is terrifyingly commonplace.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061730900
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 725,451
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Patricia McCormick is a former journalist and a two-time National Book Award finalist whose books include Cut, Sold, Never Fall Down, The Plot to Kill Hitler, Sergeant Reckless: The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero, and the young readers edition of I Am Malala. Patricia lives in New York. You can visit her online at www.pattymccormick.com.

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Purple Heart 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Going to war wasn't a first choice for Matt Duffy, but it seemed like the most sensible. He hadn't done that great in school, so college for him didn't really make sense. On the other hand, his little sister was a good student, and joining the Army would provide the necessary funds to send her to college when the time came. Whatever his reason for joining up, Matt found himself in the middle of Iraq doing the patriotic thing for his country. Even though they warned the young soldiers during basic training, he was surprised by the heat, the noise, and the people. There were slow days with routine missions; welcome days after some of the scary attacks Matt had witnessed. Recently, they'd lost their squad leader, a fellow named Benson. Amazing that this fact is one of the few things Matt can remember as he wakes up and finds himself in a hospital, answering questions from a man in scrubs standing at the foot of his bed. When Matt begins to ask questions of his own, he learns that when he and his partner, Justin, followed an insurgent into a dead-end alley, there was an explosion and he suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury). With the exception of a weakened right leg, everything else seems to be in working order. Doctors are prescribing rest and saying he'll be back with his unit in no time. With time to think, Matt is trying to remember just exactly what happened. As events of the attack begin to come back to him, he realizes he may have been responsible for something terrible. How can he bring back the memories - and does he really want to remember? Patricia McCormick shares the life of an American soldier in Iraq. YA novels dealing with the Iraq War are beginning to appear on bookstore shelves, and PURPLE HEART offers readers a chance to experience the war through the eyes of a young soldier trying to make sense of why he is fighting and whose lives he is effecting in this controversial war. McCormick reveals not only the point-of-view and mindset of American troops, but also a glimpse of the life of the regular Iraqi citizen trying to cope in a country at war. Teens thinking about military service, teens that have family and friends stationed in Iraq, or teens just curious about the distant place they hear about on the news will all benefit from and appreciate the service and story of Matt Duffy.
Sean94 More than 1 year ago
The book, Purple Heart, captivates your attention not only on the plot but also the way in which it is told. Patricia McCormick not only focuses your reading on the many aspects of war but also, the drama that goes along with being in battle. I think the author could have added e a little bit more detail about the action and more detailed flashbacks to the alley where Matt was wounded and killed the little boy. Also McCormick could have focused more on the fact that Matt wanted to recover faster from his injury. I think that Patricia could have added another chapter at the end to extend on the story a little bit more. The author did a great job describing the relationship between Matt and the psychiatrist. She also could have gone into more detail about where the hospital was exactly in Sadam's palace. Over all my rating for this book would be an eight point seven.
JohnSherian4 More than 1 year ago
Purple Heart is a wonderful book that keeps you hooked the whole way through. Its based on the men and women who serve in Iraq. Many of the soldiers in Iraq were are yet teenagers when this war began. What they and the children of Iraq are experiencing is not a political issue-it is a human issue. Purple Heart is a visceral and affectiong portrait of their world. I highly recommend this book. Though Patricia McCormick does use some strong laungage at many times it show the realism that goes on every day in Iraq.
Parker_May56 More than 1 year ago
In the book "Purple Heart", the author gets your attention by telling the story in a unique way. The author, Patricia McCormick, uses figurative language to tell the story in a more realistic way. Like when the soldiers talk, they don’t use kid friendly words, they say what you would really here out there. The main character, Matt Duffy, is a soldier in the army that gets TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) while in a firefight. While in the hospital, Matt keeps having flashbacks of an Iraq kid that died the same time he got knocked out. Matt can’t get shake the feeling that he killed the boy. During the first half of the book, Matt is recovering in a hospital in Baghdad, Iraq. There, Matt has trouble remembering what happened before he came to the hospital. So, someone from his squad comes up to talk to him and tells him what happened. I personally like this book because I feel like I can relate to people in the army because most of my family is in the army. My dad, my two older brothers, and my two cousins are in the army, but luckily none of them got hurt. Purple Heart is a good book so far and I can’t wait to finish tomorrow. I would rate this book an 8.5 out of 10 so far.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed sooo hard at your review. Omg it was the best! Awww good times! Wait what? Idk but anywho, the book sounds really good! Haha tell ya if its good or not!! Bwahaha :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There was some boring parts but it was good otherwise.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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jmf011 More than 1 year ago
Really good book has a really good story behind the book. This book has a very interesting story behind it. It kept me interested throughout the whole book. It was really inspirational for people who are trying to overcome injuries. The book starts off kind of slow at first, but it’s because they inform you on how matt recovered and how he struggled. After the first part the book gets really interesting and action pact. If you like books with great stories, then you have to read this book. Another book that I thought was really good, and also has a really good story line is “Bud Not Buddy.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually don't read books that are only 200 pages because I feel a good story cannot be written in that short of space. This one caught my eye, reading the sample and the reviews. True to it's title this short story is packed with a lot of emotions, sadness, tears, and all the horrors of war. How a little Iragi boy is caught in the middle of the good and the bad, and his innocence in his struggle to survive got him killed. This is not a recommend read for everyone, as I am still struggling with my own emotions. Because the reality of this story is that it happens much too often. Innocent children also become casualities of war.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Despite being under 200 pages, the characters grow on you and make you feel connected. It hits home about life at war. It is a great read to pass the time and it really makes you think.
Hughes5 More than 1 year ago
My son who is in 7th grade and 13 LOVED this book. In fact, he is on his third time reading through the book. Heartwarming story and educational in the fact of a different perspective of war from a teenagers point of view. Great read!
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Jacob Wakeley More than 1 year ago
I could not put it down. I brought it every were. Its a page turner thet you never want it to end.
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