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Purple Heart

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  1,693 ratings  ·  357 reviews
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. 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, Mat
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Balzer + Bray (first published August 18th 2009)
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Joe e Matt it the main character, Then there is Jason who is a big part of the story line. There are more people in the book but these are the main two.
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Community Reviews

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3.5 stars

18-year old soldier Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Baghdad. His memories of the events leading up to his hospitalization are spotty at best, he is suffering from TBI - traumatic brain injury. Matt is told that an RPG exploded next to him while he and his partner were pursuing a suspicious vehicle down a dark alley. But private Duffy feels that that is not all. His dreams are filled with the images of a 10-year old Iraqi boy shot through the chest. Matt starts to think he mig
Anne Osterlund
Matt can’t remember. Not how he arrived in the army hospital. Or what year it is. Or who won the world series.

Though he misses his unit. He knows he’s in Iraq. He knows he wants to get back to Wolf and Justin and Charlene. He knows he’s a soldier.

But he doesn’t know why the army’s giving him a purple heart. Or why they won’t really ask him questions about what happened in the alley. With the dog with the broken tail. And the kid that floated-up, up, until all Matt could see was his sneakers.

From an adults perspective the story is weak in most parts, but it's not fair to be too critical of a YA novel, especially one that does give them some perspective of this war. Children who are turning 18 and eligible to join the military were 9 when this this political situation began. I work as a YA librarian and had a 12 year old ask me "what does 9-11 mean?"... :0 ... This was in reference to 9/11/01. It was in fact on 9/11/10 that I was asked. Kids live blindly in their world of Team Edward ...more
Audible Review

2 stars. I know. I just didn't connect with Purple Heart. I was waiting for that emotional connection one disc after another but it failed to evoke any strong emotions from me. I still could not pin point as to what made this experience just two-dimensional and forgettable. The narrator was just okay, his voice rather too mature for an 18-year old teenager. Perhaps that's a factor, perhaps not. It was just lackluster IMO.

Purple Heart starts with Private Matt Duffy, an 18-year old
3.5 Stars

The brain does some funny things to help protect us. Frustrating, but necessary. Some memories stay with us while others fade and disappear. The idea and science behind it never fails to frustrate and fascinate me. Should some things be forgotten?

Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick jumps right in! Readers are introduced to an injured, groggy, and confused Private Matt Duffy in a hospital bed in Baghdad. He is suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI), so only hazy dreams and flashes re
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

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
I don't like reading books about war, but I feel it's my social responsibilty to try and understand what young men and women go through in these situations. I am glad I read Purple Heart and have come to appreciate the service that Matt Duffy, an 18-year-old young man fighting in Iraq has given our country. Matt is in a Baghdad hospital t recovering from a traumatic brain injury, trying to recall the details and make sense of what happened. Where did the attack come from? Did he really shoot and ...more
Dylan D.
Grade: Middle School
Reading level: 760 Lexile
Genre: Historical
Main Characters: Private Matt Duffy, Justin, Wolf, and Charlene
Setting: In a War
POV: First Person

When Private Matt Duffy woke up in the hospital, He can remember everything up to he being hospitalized. He is suffering from TBI (traumatic brain injury). Matt is told that an RPG exploded next to him while he and his partner were chasing a suspicious vehicle down a dark alley. Then Private Duffy thinks there is more to this than people a
"He reached over and took hold of the front of Matt's hospital gown as if he were grabbing hold of him by the straps of his vest. Then he let go and patted Matt on the cheek. 'You were lucky, man.'
'There was a dog,' Matt said.
Justin frowned. 'What?'
'Dog,' said Matt. 'There was a dog.'
Justin drew back slightly. 'Dude, I have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.'
'He was near the... you know, when you throw stuff away..." It was maddening. He couldn't remember the word.
Justin looked away, sc
Tammy Dahle
My Thoughts:
A Middle School Librarian asked me to preview this book before putting it on the shelf for her students. Purple Heart is a book I would have totally judged by it's cover and passed it over. I don't normally seek out books about war. I'm so very glad I had the opportunity to read Purple Heart and experience Patricia McCormick's amazing story.
Purple Heart gives you a chance to experience the War in Iraq from a soldier's point of view. It's not pretty. Matt is laying in a hospital bed
There is a plethora of young adult literature being published of late concerning contemporary warfare, its effects on those left behind,and the impact on those who serve. "Purple Heart" focuses mostly on the ramifications of warfare on the soldiers who fight. Eighteen-year-old soldier, Matt Duffy, wakes up not knowing where he is or what has happened. He is in a hospital in the "Green Zone" in Baghdad, Iraq, suffering from TBI - Traumatic Brain Injury. After receiving a "purple heart" for being ...more
My overall opinion on the book is that is a pretty good book. There were a lot of parts that made you think and then there were a lot of parts that made you wonder what was going to happen. When the book starts out it seems kind of boring but it gets better throughout the book. The middle part where he is getting questioned and finally gets to go back is my favorite part. The one part that I absolutely hated was the ending. It was one of the worst endings if ever read in my opinion.
If you like w
This is on the 2014 Abe list.

I struggle with Patricia McCormick... I absolutely loathed Never Fall Down; it felt appropriated, colonialist. With Purple Heart, once again she's done a lot of research and seems to have immersed herself in interviews with Iraq war vets and family members. She used the 3rd person to flesh out Matt's story of surviving an RPG with traumatic brain injury and his return to the front. And even though I was intrigued by Matt's story and horrified by the deeply layered "
Ryan Pomerenke
Matt, the main character, wakes up in a military hospital with no recollection of the event that got him there. Justin, Matt’s best friend from his unit, comes and explains what happened to him. Matt was informed that him and Justin were chasing a potential threat down an alleyway. Once they were separated from their unit, they were ambushed. An RPG blast hit Matt and caused a severe concussion. As more details from the incident come to light, Matt learns there was a little Iraqi boy that was ca ...more
Angel Virgos
I would recommend this book because it is a good book. The main character named Matt is in a hospital in Iraq and he has a head injury and dosent remember what had happen to him. He got a Purple Heart medal but dosent know why
Alex Sierra
Purple Heart
Purple heart is about a solider named Matt who woke up in a hospital and has no clue how we got there.
Purple Heart takes place in a Iraq hospital. The novel begins when Matt wakes up on a hospital bed and has a major headache. Matt is a solider in the U.S. Army. When Matt wakes up, his vision is very fuzzy. He realizes his best friend Justin is right next to him. Justin is a cool guy who kicks butt. Justin is also in the same squadron ad Matt. Matt asks Justin how he got in the hos
Derek Mattix
This was one of the best books I’ve read in the last 5 years. “Purple Heart” was about an 18 year old boy who was hospitalized in the army. He suffered a traumatic brain injury and didn’t know what happened the day he was injured. The book tells about his journey to remembering how his friend Ali, who was part of the firefight the day Matt was injured, was killed.
This was a really interesting book. It really got me emotionally, as some of the important characters die. The author did a great j
Jaelyn Reeck
Personal Response:
I think this book was really good over all. It was a really interesting story about the war in Iraq. Its really interesting how they have the main character, Matt, get hurt in one of the first chapters of the book. Some of the parts in the book were boring, and not very interesting.
Plot Summary:
The story was about a squad that had been fighting in the war against Iraq. In one of the first chapters of the book, Matt had gotten hit by an RPG, and was pinned underneath of a car.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashlynn Barnes
This book was overall ok. It was an interesting story about 18 year old Private Matt Duffy who suffered a traumatic brain injury in combat. A side effect of this injury is not remembering what happened the day he suffered it. The book is about private Duffy trying to find the truth about what happened that day. The story starts with Private Duffy's first day in the hospital and as he heals he tries hard to remember what happened by putting together pieces of information he hears from people.
I have to say I'm not sure what I was expecting when I picked up this book, but this wasn't quite it.

Yes, it's a story about soldiers in the Iraq War. But half the book is the main character in a hospital, having problems with his memory. That...wasn't so exciting. Look, I've read lots of books about people having memory problems. Making it a young American soldier didn't really change anything. It just...wasn't interesting to me. Of course there's the whole mystery of "What exactly happened whe
Tanner Minnis
This book, Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick, was an action-packed suspenseful book! Matt, a US soldier, is in iraq fighting the war. He recently undergos and injury called TBI (traumatic brain injury) and his faced with huge conflicts throughout this novel. He is able to return to his squadren, who are the poeple he fights with. Matt, Justin, Wolf, and Charlene create an unbreakable bond and brotherhood. They go through many incidents where one must rely on eachother to be safe, in the dangero ...more
Joe e
This was a very good book, it had really got me thinking about events from earlier in the book.
Matt P
Purple Heart is a book about Private Matt Duffy and his service in Afghanistan. Matt wakes up in a hospital with a terrible headache and no idea of what happened to him. The terrible headache he has is a side effect of a much worse condition, traumatic brain injury. After a few days in a hospital in Baghdad’s Green Zone, a zone where no fighting occurs, Matt’s buddy and fellow squad mate Justin comes in and explains what happened to Matt. They were chasing some adversaries known as insurgents do ...more
Henry J.vasquez
I think this book s alright and easy to read. I think it sad how Matt lose his memory and can only remember something. I also hate how his squad Had to leave him in the hospital. I also think something bad might happen to Justin and that letter might been the last thing he hear from him. But so far i like the book and it and easy book to read too, so it might be something you want to look in to.
Cole Solana
Feb 14, 2014 Cole Solana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young adults
Recommended to Cole by: i pick up at a libraby randomly
Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick has once again created a breathtaking novel. The setting of Purple Heart follows around a young soldier Private Matt Duffy around after he recieved a Purple Heart ,because he has been injuired in Iraq. He has been diagnosed with TBI (Tramatic Brain Injury). Private Duffy tries desperately to get back to his squad, but struggles remembering what happened to put him in the hospital. He has visions but can't quit put his finger on it. He works everyday to walk and ...more
while I didn't love this book, it gave me a small bit insight as to what my cousin went and is currently going through. . .while serving in Iraq he was hit in the head with shrapnel and suffered a very serious TBI. The recovery of an TBI, coupled with combat memories, makes a difficult recovery. The character, Matt, in this book shares his story of a similar situation.
This young adult book about a kid at war touches on some interesting topics, while telling a very quick story. Nothing is given a lot of emphasis though, so it could just be an enjoyable read. The issue given the most attention is that the main character is too young to deal with being at war, while his girlfriend is struggling with a biology class. He mentions that he'll be a vet unable to drink legally. He and his buddies spend their free time playing war games, Halo and with silly string. The ...more
"Good Soldiers" by Finkel is good prep for this book. Even absent that, the contrast between Matt's reality and what is happening at home is striking. And yes, I cried. I think anyone would. It is a book about the loss of innocence that goes beyond what any teenager should experience, but that unfortunately many of our servicemen do.
A very decent tale of soldiers in the current Iraqi war, with empathy for all involved. The book does not take a political position but instead lets you see into the minds of the soldiers who are fighting it for us. The author did several interviews to make it realistic.
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Patricia McCormick is a journalist and writer. She graduated from Rosemont College in 1978, followed by an M.S. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1986 and an M.F.A. from New School University in 1999. Her first novel for teens was Cut, about a young woman who self-injures herself. This was followed by My Brother's Keeper in 2005, about a boy struggling with his brother's ad ...more
More about Patricia McCormick...
Cut Sold Never Fall Down My Brother's Keeper Just Add One Chinese Sister (p)

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“That first phrase-please bless me, Father, for I have sinned-was so humbling and so total, Matt always felt a kind of absolution as soon as he said it” 3 likes
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