Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Search and Destroy” as Want to Read:
Search and Destroy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Search and Destroy

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  274 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Rick Ward wants to go to war.

He doesn't know why. Maybe he's running from his dad, who has an uncontrollable temper. Maybe he's running from a lost love, his high-school sweetheart, who is a stranger to him now. Or maybe he's just running -- to find himself.

Desperate to experience real life, Rick enlists in the army with the Charlie Rangers, a special unit in Vietnam. They
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Search and Destroy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Search and Destroy

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 514)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Anllir Ramirez
Search and Destroy is one of those books about war that immerse you with the character and leaves the reader with a sort of respect towards the characters growth and new take on life. The Book starts out with a respectable and satisfying prewar life description, the author takes the reality of what problems a young adult may be facing soon after high school, and in the age of war the country is in. He is able to establish an understanding of why Rick Ward would want to go to war and through doin ...more
Trevor Higgins
Search and Destroy by Dean Hughes
Search and destroy by Dean Hughes is probably one of the best war books out there. Ive read this book in 15 hours because it was so good. This book is not just about war though. Infactits much more. The author Dean Hughes wrote the book in a different point of view. Its about the struggles of life during the war. Taking on the jungle and its much more than just killing the enemy because they done something wrong. Its about going into a war
Trent Naasz
When I first saw this book I thought it was going to be about a soldier with a fear of fighting in the war. The picture shows that he doesn't want to be there.
Set a Purpose:
The purpose of me reading this book isn't that I have to for the Goodreads but that I’m interested in topics dealing with war and fighting. The way I approached this book was very open and looking for new information about war. I'm just reading and enjoying this book not taking notes.
This book is full of d
Nacho Arismendis
The book Search And Destroy by Dean Hughes is a book that makes you think. This book is well written, it describe the situation of vietnam and its so descriptive that you visualize in your head whats vietnam like. The hot and humid weather and how Rick suffered during being in war. If you like war books this wood be a book for you
Navya Virk
I think that the story "Search and Destroy" by Dean Hughes is really about making the right decicions. In the story Rick made the right decision by entering the army. "I feel like I need what the army can give me"(p,30). This quote explains that Rick thinks the army can help him in many different ways and he could use that. This shows that Rick wants to join the army because he could use it and it is the right decision for him. I can infer that this is the right decision for Rick because as a ru ...more

Rick just graduated from high school and he doesnt know what do to, he says he wants to write but he doesnt have anything to write about, he wants to live new experiences and the he could have something to write about. also, he doesnt have enough money to go to college so he decides to join the army.


Rick has passed the basic training and he is already in Vietnam and someone tells him about the rangers and he decides to go to ranger school and join them. he goes to camp and he makes
Troy S.
I would recommend the book "Search and Destroy" by Dean Hughes to a friend because it is one of those books that catches your attention. It keeps you wondering what will happen next and makes you never want to put the book down. Pg.92, "Rick could see a hole in Sparks's gut, could even see his insides bulging through the skin." This is a good example of catching the reader's attention. Pg.180, "He glanced at J.D. just as the man's head exploded. Blood and brain flew in a red crescent, and J.D. s ...more
Tony Brienza
Search and Destroy is an exhilarating book written by Dean Hughes. The genre of this book is historical fiction. As a recent 1969 high school graduate, Rick Ward doesn't know what he wants out of life. He enjoys writing in a journal, but he does not believe he has enough real life experience to become a writer. Rick knows he does not want to end up like his father, in a dead end job. He has not applied to any colleges because he knows he does not have the money for college. Rick's life seems to ...more
The Book read was Search and Destroy by Dean Hughes. I rated this book a 4 out of 5 stars because i liked the book but it seemed to ramble on about random things sometimes. This book was mainly about a young boy named Rick who graduated highschool with no money for college. He decided to join the army to get new experiences for his writing and plus it paid for his college. The genre of this book is historical fiction. I think that the intended audience for this book is anyone who wants to know t ...more
Noah Gaudreau
Search and Destroy by Dean Hughes

Rick Ward has just graduated from high school, and his summer days are spent lying on the beach with his friends, getting berated by his father and boss or fighting with his girlfriend who says he’s a joke. Rick wants to be a writer, but he lacks the true emotion and understanding to write the way he wants. Everything Rick writes in his notebook, filled with unfinished stories, is not enough for him. He decides he’ll join the army to get some experience, some pe
Duncan -_-
I would recommend the book Search And Destroy by Dean Hughes to a friend because it depicts real life war in Vietnam in the eyes of Rick Ward a Californian boy straight out of high school, through realistic fiction, imagery and internal conflict. Realistic fiction is depicted throughout the story. One example is “But Rick could see Kent’s left leg was gone”(155). I felt like this is what war would be like. Also Rick’s best friend was Kent and he didn’t get along with any of the other men in his ...more
Tyler Bachinsky
I like this book very much. At first the book started out a little slow,but as the book went on the excitement started to progress. This book is about a boy named Rick, and his efforts and contribution in the Vietnam war. Rick starts the helping in the war with the incentive to show his family that he is not spoiled and can do things for him self. Rick learns many things that he thought he could never do. Read Search And Destroy to find out if Rick can with stand the hard ships of war.
Nov 15, 2010 Adam added it
Can you imagine being an Army Ranger? These are some of the toughest people in the military. During the war in Vietnam, these brave men were expected to walk miles through dense jungles to take the life of another man.
Dean Hughes does a fantastic job telling about and Army Ranger in his 2005 story Search and Destroy. It tells about a man named rick and how he ended up in war torn Vietnam during the 1970s.
He meets men such as Kent and his best friend, Preacher. He learns a lot about their lives
This was a story about an immature 18-year-old who decides to join the military mostly because he has to get away from an overbearing father. He also hopes to prove his manhood. Unfortunately, he makes this decision as the Vietnam war rages on. Rick who has always wanted to be a writer keeps a journal of the events of his life in the military. Rick gets his wish and learns a whole lot more that he would rather not have known. When he is sent back to the states after being wounded while trying to ...more
Jayden Philips
This book was about this guy. He is fed up with his daddy and doesn’t like his situation at home. So he Enlists in special training to become an army ranger. So he does his thing in basic training, running and what not. Then he gets shipped off to Vietnam and when he gets there there is this guy that asks him if he wants to be in a special squad called “lurp unit” and pretty much what they do is go into the jungle and kill the Congs and then come back to came. He meets pretty cool people too. B ...more
The book search and destroy is one of the best war books I have ever read. It all start out when this high school graduate named Rick Ward quits his job as a masonry layer. When his dad finds out he kicks him out of the house. So with little options he joins the army as his only option . It goes throughout the story telling about his experiences in war and the friends he makes.
Shawn Thrasher
It's certainly not a perfect or life changing book, but a seventh grade boy recommended this to me as the best book he'd ever read, and now I understand why. Explores some deep issues, including the conflict between war and Christianity (a Mormon character, unusual in itself, is also a volunteer fighting in Vietnam), and what it means to be a patriot, a soldier, and an invader of another country. This could spark discussions about American military involvement currently around the world (differe ...more
Search and Destroy is about a non-Mormon boy who goes to Vietnam as a soldier. Unlike most of the others he is a volunteer. He wants to be there to get away from his dad and to gain the experiences that will make him a great writer. Rick has no idea what he is getting into. He has no idea how he will change.

I think that this book is good because it shows how wrong war is without demeaning our soldiers. Our soldiers deserve respect and this book gives them some while still pointing out how wrong
Braden Michael
Richard Ward gets kicked out of home by his dad after quiting his job. The vietnam war his happening and his friends are against the war. Richard decides to join the military to impress his dad and to become a man. Alot of people he meets at first dont like him. toward the end of the book the enemies corner his unit as they make dash for the landing zone, but John Duffy doesn't make it and Richard gets two bullets in himself.

The book is slow at first but as you read you will not want to put th
Rick Ward, a recent high school graduate in southern California isn't sure what he wants to do next with his life, so he joins the army, trains as a paratrooper, and joins the Charlie Rangers in Vietnam (1969) shortly after arriving with his airborne unit. He spends time thinking about the purpose of the war, what he specifically is doing, and he gets to know one of his platoon mates, Kent (The Preacher). He describes a few missions. He gets to know a South Vietnamese taxi driver and family, and ...more
Rj Deneweth
This book was an amazing book. It was an action packed book. The moral of the story was to never leave a man behind. It was a great quick read. I would recommend this book to a male mature middle schooler and up. This book may get graphic at some points.
Braven Ledgerwood
This book Search And Destroy by Dean Hughes was a 2 star. This book is relatively the same as Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers. This book is about a boy who has not had many experiences in his lifetime. Vietnam is nearly over and the hippie scene is still going on. He realizes the life he has with his friends isn't very fun anymore. His best friend has just turned his back on him and his other best friend's act is getting old. He volunteers for the army and he is shipped off to basic training, ...more
Ian Cook
I really enjoyed this stunning work of art and I recommend to veterans and people going to the army. I also recommend others too. This is the most action pack book I've read yet!
Rj Conroy
Military history is a subject that is difficult to capture, especily historical military histoy novels. Dean Hughes clearly did his reserch for Search And Destroy. This book takes the reader up close and personal with the prossces and the decisions made for a young adult to join the army. Among doing this touching on a difficult subject in american history, the Vietnam War. I like to see myself as a person who it takes a lot to get to(make me cry, but at the end of this book it took a lot to hol ...more
This book was a great adventure it was thrilling and captivating it kept me on the side of my chair the hole time. The suspense is unreal in this book it kept me interested. It all started out when Rick Ward wanted to do something with his life. He wanted to become a writer but he didn't know what to write about. He decided to go into the army, at that time the Vietnam war was going on. A few months later Rick was in the jungle with an elite group of men called Charlie Rangers. When the fire fig ...more
Fazeera Ally
Oct 15, 2010 Fazeera Ally is currently reading it
I am reading Search & Destroy By Dean Hughes. Its about A boy named Rick Ward, a kid just out of high school with no real life experience. Only fun & obnoxious memories from high school. He has no clue of what he wants in life or where he wants to go. He loves to write in a journal about everything and anything but isnt sure if being a writer is what he wants to be for the rest of his life. Rick finds out from his girlfriend Judy that he isn't going to be anything in life if he doesnt ge ...more
Julie Suzanne
A good quick read, except that I was actually able to put it down for 2 months, which isn't a good sign. The last half captured me until I cried, but the first half was boring to an adult. Reading the thoughts of a boy justifying going to war just to "prove himself," "find himself," or "become a man" is not enjoyable, and of course I knew how that would turn out. It's why I can't stand to read my old journals. I'm sure that an 8th-grader would find that part of the novel less cliche and possibly ...more
Shawn Feeney
I thought this book Search And Destroy Was a very good book and I would rate it five stars because threw the whole book it made me want to read more with the action and how I read it it felt like a movie. This book is about a very good boy with perfect grades but his dad kicks him out leaving him no where else to but the military but before he does that he stays somewhere which ill leave for the next reader. When he goes into the military he sees other people that are not like him . He has know ...more
This book has been thrilling and captivating. Its suspens was killing me in the middle it show bravery, and friendship. It all started when Rick Ward was ending high school and the vietman war had broke out about 1 year befor there school ended. When Ricks girl friend broke up with him and gave him a reality check Rick saw he had nothing to do with his life. He wanted to be an auther , but did not know what to write about he needed to go on an adveture. He did not think it would be hard. But whe ...more
Ryan Teplitzky
This book started slow but I enjoyed it towards they end. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes action books.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 17 18 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Soldier X
  • Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam
  • Eyes of the Emperor
  • A Boy No More
  • Sunrise Over Fallujah
  • Response
  • Lizzie's War: A Novel
  • Behind Enemy Lines: True Stories of Amazing Courage
  • Sophie Pitt-Turnbull Discovers America
  • The Car
  • Ten Mile River
  • 10,000 Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War
  • Carlota
  • Crackback
  • A Walk in the Night and Other Stories
  • Mission to Kala
  • Purple Heart
  • Rat Life
Dean Hughes is the author of more than eighty books for young readers, including the popular sports series Angel Park All-Stars, the Scrappers series, the Nutty series, the widely acclaimed companion novels Family Pose and Team Picture, and Search and Destroy. Soldier Boys was selected for the 2001 New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age list. Dean Hughes and his wife, Kathleen, have three ...more
More about Dean Hughes...
Rumors of War (Children of the Promise, #1) When We Meet Again (Children of the Promise, #4) As Long As I Have You (Children of the Promise, #5) Since You Went Away (Children of the Promise, #2) Far From Home (Children of the Promise, #3)

Share This Book