Sunrise over Fallujah
by Myers, Walter Dean

Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him.

Walter Dean Myers is the 2012 - 2013 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He is the critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author an award-winning body of work which includes, SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS, SLAM!, and MONSTER. Mr. Myers has received two Newbery Honor medals, five Coretta Scott King Author Awards, and three National Book Award Finalists citations. In addition, he is the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Myers earned a Coretta Scott King award for Fallen Angels (1988), about Richie, a young, black soldier who faces confusing missions, enemies indistinguishable from civilians, and a country that resents its so-called liberators. That book dealt with Vietnam, but the same description applies to this moving companion, set in Iraq. Narrated by Richie's nephew, Robin, this novel plunges readers into Operation Iraqi Freedom. The violence encountered by Robin's supposedly low-risk, mixed-gender Civil Affairs team demolishes expectations of a "textbook war" and leaves the recent enlistee burdened with anxiety, as if "every gun had an eye on the end that was looking for him." Such remarks are emblematic of the spare, authentic power of Myers' writing, which reveals both the universal emotions of warfare and its contemporary specifics-from embedded reporters to women warriors (one of whom experiences an attempted rape). Unfortunately, readers learn more about the situation than about Robin himself, who tends to be upstaged by his vibrant supporting cast. Another weak point is a melodramatic, heavily foreshadowed tragedy at the book's climax. Even so, this offers a compelling, close-up look at a war that has raged for a large percentage of teens' lives, and together, this novel and Fallen Angels deliver a searing statement about how the lessons of history go unheeded as the fog of war envelops generation after generation. A new paperback edition of Fallen Angels will build interest in both books; recommenders should note that the language and violence in the earlier title are markedly more graphic. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

In 2003, in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, young Robin Perry already wonders about "an enemy we can't identify and friends we're not sure about." Myers dedicates this novel to the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Services and to their families, and he offers a powerful study of the strange war they have been sent to fight, where confusion and randomness rule. Why are they fighting? Whom are they fighting? When will they be hit next? Narrated by Robin, nephew of Richie Perry, the main character of the landmark Fallen Angels (1988), this companion expertly evokes the beauty of Iraq and the ugliness of war. Given the paucity of works on this war, this is an important volume, covering much ground and offering much insight. Robin's eventual understanding that his experience was not about winning or losing the war but about "reaching for the highest idea of life" makes this a worthy successor to Myers's Coretta Scott King Award-winning classic. (map, glossary) (Fiction. 12+) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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