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Price of Duty

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  273 ratings  ·  90 reviews
From award-winning author Todd Strasser comes a gripping new novel that explores the struggles of war, the price paid by those who fight in them, and what it really means to be a hero.

Jake Liddell is a hero.

At least, that’s what everyone says he is. The military is even awarding him a Silver Star for his heroic achievements—a huge honor for the son
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published July 17th 2018 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  273 ratings  ·  90 reviews

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Kate ☀️ Olson
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
It's difficult to imagine that a writer could craft such a damning indictment of the US military's recruitment systems in under 200 pages without actually being anti-military, all while writing for an audience ranging from middle to high school. But somehow Strasser did it. I can't wait to get this one into students' hands. It's written in very simplistic language but in no way flinches from the absolute horrors of war.

While describing a 19-year-old returning from his first deployment with seve
Richie Partington
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Richie’s Picks: PRICE OF DUTY by Todd Strasser, Simon & Schuster, July 2018, 192p., ISBN: 978-1-4814-9709-1

“And there’s just a few things I ain’t got sorted out
Sometimes they make my brain get sore
Like if kids were left to their own devices
Would they ever come up with a thing like war”
-- Todd Rundgren, “The Wheel” (1975)

“Join the Army; travel to exotic distant lands; meet exciting, unusual people and kill them.”
-- early Seventies poster o
Leora Bernstein
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I never review books, because I very often feel like whatever I think of a book has already been said. But, reading the other two reviews of this book, it inspired me a bit. So thank you, fellow reviewers!

Look, this book is not your average YA novel. It's heavy and it's hard-hitting, and it does a lot in a short amount of time. But mostly what it does is give you a lot to think about. Todd Strasser doesn't condescend to you. He doesn't try to tell you what to think of the military. H
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-copyright
Jake Liddell returns home from war a hero. He gets one week to visit with family and friends before beginning rehab and later returning to the front lines to finish his six month tour of duty. He has a list of things he wants to accomplish--people he needs to see before that week is up. Jake feels all the pressure of his military family to accept the medal being offered and return to service. But Jake is feeling quite disheartened with the military and isn't sure he wants to return. But can he d ...more
This was an incredibly complex topic to cover in under 200 pages, and while I think it needs about 50-100 more, I was still very impressed. It covers mental health and its treatment in the military, the motives for US involvement war, the recruitment process and its deception, minorities in the military (and how they often choose it as a way out), and the JROTC program. It also argues why the US needs a military.

The writing was good and the main character was completely likable and easy to symp
Mrs. Kenyon
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Everyone says that Jake Liddell is a war hero. He is even scheduled to receive the Silver Star for some of his actions during combat, but now that he is away from his platoon, recovering, he isn’t sure he wants to return and finish his tour. To make matters worse, he is from a military family, so there are additional expectations at home. What will Jake decide to do next? Why does he believe he isn’t a hero at all?

Price of Duty is a stand-alone novel that is gripping and heartfelt. T
Chrissie Morrison
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Everyone thinks Jake is a hero.  Everyone except Jake, that is.  He doesn't think he was heroic for his actions during combat -- he was just following his instincts, using his training, and doing what he had to do to survive.  He is expecting to receive a Silver Star, nevertheless, which is an even greater honor than the Bronze Star his famous grandfather, The General, received for his valor during the Vietnam War.  Jake would rather get a medical discharge from the Army.  It would be sacrilege ...more
Cristi Julsrud
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
(I received an ARC of this book from Simon and Schuster through the author.)

I really liked this book. It is ambitious, and seeks to do a lot with only 177 pages. The main character, Jake, has just returned from active duty in the Middle East. He was wounded severely in a firefight where he tried to rescue several of his fellow soldiers. He is a hometown hero and may be the recipient of a Silver Star, but Jake is having all sorts of second thoughts about the nature of war, the militar
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
I received this book as an advanced reader's copy and I have not read many military inspired novels but from the description and cover this book got me intrigued. This book does an exemplary job reflecting the hardship of having a loved one overseas fighting in the military for our freedom and the families that worry about having them return home safely. With all of the political controversy causing this particular topic very sensitive, it was refreshing to hear another point of view and potenti ...more
Jo Beth
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This short book is a powerful one. Ad our hero returns from a war he found senseless, he confronts his feelings about why he did what he did and if he is indeed a hero. He knows firsthand the horrors of war and is not sure he has what it takes, to either return to duty, or confront his family, who assume that he will continue on the hero's journey. Told in short chapters, the reader will keep wanting more. There are no easy answers, but always good questions.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book should be required reading for every young person who’s considering entering the military. This is an ambitious novel for a YA writer. If Strasser appears to bite off more than he can chew in 177 pages, it’s probably because there’s so much here that needs to be chewed over.
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars for this book, I honestly don’t know what the book was about . It keep hyping itself up for a dramatic ending by the main character giving us clues that he was getting ready to do something drastic at the ending but the more the book kept on the more boring it got for me, none of the characters feel real and the book feels both that it went for too long for such a simple and uncomplicated story and too short for the subject that it tried and failed to approach (PTSD I assume because ev ...more
Max Baker
Thank you Edelweiss for providing me a free review copy in exchange for an honest review

This is a complex book, but I don't think this is a good book which is kind of a bummer because I was looking forward to a lot of this book.

Look, I'm going to level with ya'll here. Price of Duty deals with a lot, a lot of topics ranging from, but not limited to: continuing military family traditions, the hollow glory of battle, soldiers with addictions, soldiers with PTSD, soldiers who have been i
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it
⭐⭐⭐💫/5. Jake is a soldier who is back home recovering from an injury sustained in the line of duty. Everyone says he is a hero, but he doesn’t feel like it as he battles night terrors and cannot function without medication. The story is told through flashbacks of his deployment and the present. It hits the issues of how the military recruits, how soldiers’ mental health is treated, and what it’s like to come home knowing some of your best friends never will (alive, at least). I recommend this fo ...more
Ms. Yingling
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus
Lots of interesting details about Jake being injured in combat and then trying to adjust to being home, but the narrative style made the story a bit hard to follow and was also more introspective than most of my students prefer. I am debating, since I like Strasser's work, and there isn't much else like this. More mature middle school readers would do fine with this, but younger ones might struggle.
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked The price of duty. The only thing that confused me was that I wasn’t sure if it was historical fiction or an alternate reality. I liked the stories of battle and how hard it was to come home.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Important. Exceptional. Everyone at schools with JROTC should read.
Stacey Conrad
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jake is home after sustaining injuries during deployment. He's being lauded as a hero, but is struggling with what that really means. Jake still has six months left of deployment to finish after his rehab at Walter Reed. He's really thinking about not going back, but that would mean breaking the law. Not to mention, disappointing his grandfather, the General, and the town, who came out en masse to welcome home their hero. He's going to earn a silver star, but that is pretty hard to reconcile wit ...more
Sep 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book may have been short, but it packed a lot of punch. It shows the grim reality of a soldier's conflicted feelings after he's wounded and sent home to recover. Jake struggles to accept his hero status and his confused feelings about war. He has to choose between recovering at Walter Reed only to be sent back into combat or refuse his Silver Star and speak out against the war. The book alternates between his time home and his time in combat. As they say, "War is hell" and this book illustr ...more
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Actual
This quick but powerful novel deals with a young man with a family tradition of military service. He enlisted in the army right out of high school after training with the JROTC program. Now, he is home after being seriously injured and psychologically changed during his deployment.

Strasser raises serious for which there are no easy answers: what are the costs of war; are minorities targeted for military recruitment, and unfairly increase numbers of disadvantaged teens
Potsdam Public Library
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down. Very thought-provoking, but still easy to read!
Patricia Powell
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
When Jake Liddell returns home wounded from a tour of duty in the Middle East, everyone says he’s a hero. Jake says, “My body may have returned home, but my brain is still wired for war.” He needs pills to sleep. His grandfather, a war hero called The General, is already urging Jake back to the battlefield. Jake waits—and questions—the Silver Star he will be awarded.
Acclaimed author Todd Strasser examines military service in his new novel, “Price of Duty” (Simon & Schuster 2018). Jake
Dylann Pham
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nina O'Daniels
There are always two sides to a story, sometimes three. For some, being part of the military and serving one’s country is in their blood. It’s a privilege, a rite of passage, a duty that you don’t shirk away from. You serve your time, come back a hero, and pass along that tradition. And, that is beyond brave in my book. But there is also another side that doesn’t get talked about- the negative. I’m not just talking about being separated from loved ones for long periods of time, eating crappy foo ...more
Sep 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-but-unowned, arc
I received this eARC novel from Edelweiss. This is my honest review.

Being in a family that has served the country by being in the military, Jake felt that it was his duty to also enlist into the Forever War. He wasn't pressured by anyone, but he knew that his grandfather would judge him. Funny thing is, his father was sad and disappointed that he enlisted.

After his convoy got invaded by the enemy, Jake was one of the lucky ones who survived. His leg is in a cast, and his left arm and hand got
Lisa Rowland
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book out of my stack because it was short. There, I admitted it. I did want to read something by Todd Strasser, so it did kill two birds with one stone, but the key point was that it was short.

Then this book surprised me, in a good way. It does a very good job of bringing up different questions about the military from both sides, and even some of the pros and cons to different arguments. The fact that there's not just criticism for something (such as JROTC) but also arg
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't read war books. I'm spoiled, white, privileged, etc... I read to escape rather than read to be sad and angry. I'm glad I read this. I need to read more.

Price of Duty gets real and it's still appropriate for middle school - high school readers. As an adult, I have my views on war. But kids? It's Call of Duty and video games. Every student I teach has been born into a war we've been fighting but can easily ignore.

Jake is my eldest daughter's age. In my mind, he's still a baby.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was amazing! It's very deep and the author has strong opinions about the military. I love how he adds in personal experiences that give good life lessons and advice to anyone who is reading it. I think anyone who is considering joining the armed forces, should first look into this book. Todd Strasser put in so much effort and everything he had to say was worth reading. The main character, Jake Liddell, is a war hero who has returned home. He's lost many friends, dealt with the enemy up ...more
Heartbreaking, tear-jerking, gut-wrenching reality!
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review Price of Duty by Todd Strasser. As the story opens, we’re thrown right into a Humvee being hit by an IED! The main character, Jake, narrates in first person point of view, alternating between the present and his active duty as a U.S. soldier. His life has completely changed since he enlisted in the military and he’s holding onto anger from seeing his comrad
Sandy Eichelberger
Straaser turns his attention to the toll war takes on our young men. Jake comes from a military family, but it’s not something he calls attention to. He signs up right out of high school and is sent overseas at a tender age. What he sees and lives through leaves an indelible mark on him that haunts him when he returns home as a hero.

The book addresses PTSD, the overwhelming fear and the wariness that soldiers must deal with when returning from a warzone where even children are potential threats
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Todd Strasser is an American author of more than 130 young-adult and middle grade novels and novelizations, some written under the pen names Morton Rue and T.S.Rue

Todd was born in New York City. When he was young his parents moved to Roslyn Heights, New York (Long Island). Todd went to the I.U. Willets Elementary school and then attended the Wheatley School for junior high and high school. Hi
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