Fallen Angels Walter Dean Myers
Richie Perry can't afford college. He's stuck in Harlem with few prospects, so he enlists and goes off the Vietnam.
There are the basics of a war story-- fear, fighting, death, trying to make sense of it all, trying to stay alive.
But there's more to this one-- Perry and most of his unit enlisted for their own reasons, which goes against the standard Vietnam story we tell of draftees. Perry and many in his unit are black. While race isn't a major factor of Myers's story, it's there and sometimes it's an issue.
Myers touches on several issues, never letting them pull focus, but also not merely brushing them off.
Overall, while it's a different perspective on a war story, it holds much in common with other war stories, because the weapons and geography and reasons may change, but there is great universality in battle, in death.
We watch Perry change over the course of his tour of duty. What I really wanted to know is what happens next. Not just to Perry, but to Pee-Wee and Johnson and the others. What world did they go back to and how did they readjust? Did serving in the army open doors to them that weren't open before?
A moving story that stays with the reader.
Book Provided by... my local library
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