Terri's Reviews > Purple Heart

Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick
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's review
Mar 15, 2010

really liked it

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 injured while serving, he begins to piece together the events that have brought him here. He repeatedly sees in his memory a candy wrapper, razor wire, a dog, and a boy he recognizes as Ali (the ten year old Iraqui boy he has befriended). Once he pieces things together, he learns that many aspects of war reside in the gray, rather than clearly being black or white. There are no easy answers to the many tough questions that war inspires.

"Purple Heart" is a fast, compelling, contemporary read that will appeal to both boys (for the war action) and girls (for the compelling characterizations). There is plenty of fodder for discussion here as well. Some mature language and discussion by characters is included, though nothing gratuitous or graphic. There is violence, but that is to be expected in a book of this nature. Highly recommended.
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