Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam

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9780060283636: Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam
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Vietnam.

A young American soldier waits for his enemy, rifle in hand, finger on the trigger. He is afraid to move and yet afraid not to move. Gunshots crackle in the still air. The soldier fires blindly into the distant trees at an unseen enemy. He crouches and waits -- heart pounding, tense and trembling, biting back tears. When will it all be over?

Walter Dean Myers joined the army on his seventeeth birthday, at the onset of American involvement in Vietnam, but it was the death of his brother in 1968 that forever changed his mind about war.

In a gripping and powerful story-poem, the award-winning author takes readers into the heart and mind of a young soldier in an alien land who comes face-to-face with the enemy. Strikingly illustrated with evocative and emotionally wrenching collages by Caldecott Honor artist Ann Grifalconi, this unforgettable portrait captures one American G.L's haunting experience.

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About the Author:

Critically acclaimed and bestselling author Walter Dean Myers has garnered much respect and admiration for his fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for young people. Winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award for Monster, and five Coretta Scott King Awards, recipient of two Newbery Honors, and a National Book Award finalist for Autobiography of My Dead Brother, he is considered one of the preeminent writers for children. He lives in Jersey City, NJ.

From Publishers Weekly:

Camouflage endpapers set the stage for Myers's (Handbook for Boys: A Novel, reviewed below) unusual and gripping picture book set in Vietnam and geared to older readers. "The land of my enemy has wide valleys, mountains that stretch along the far horizon, rushing brown rivers, and thick green forests," the riveting narrative poem begins. Grifalconi's (the Everett Anderson books) sophisticated mixed-media collage shows a breathtaking vista, lush with trees, jagged mountains and terraced hillsides. On the next spread, Myers drops readers into the jungle with the narrator, a young American soldier, and his squad of nine men. The protagonist makes a nerve-wracking trek ("Somewhere in the forest, hidden in the shadows, is the enemy"), witnesses a bombing raid ("My body shakes. I tell myself that I will not die on this bright day") and comes face-to-face with an enemy soldier ("In a heartbeat, we have learned too much about each other"neither fires). Myers, who fought in Vietnam, lays bare the young man's emotions. Short phrases combine power with grace as the author artfully conveys the outward events of warfare and the resulting inner turmoil: in the village, the young man sees "the enemy. A brown woman with rivers of age etched deeply into her face. An old man, his eyes heavy with memory." Grifalconi, too, subtly highlights war's absurd contradictions. One particularly striking scene finds the G.I. facing his enemy across a field alight with heartbreakingly lovely flowers and wildlife. Readers will hope this is as close as they ever get to the real thing. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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