Army Day was last officially observed on a nation level in 1949. It was a day to raise awareness of the Army and need to have a strong one (after the US was caught unprepared a few wars in a row.) In honor of the Army, we're marking it today with books about those who serve in the Army.
A few notes-- we'll be covering the Civil War and Vietnam later this month, so they're missing from the list. Also, it's Army day, not Armed Forces day, so there's no one from the other branches represented, either.
Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer and Peter Larangis. While serving in Iraq, Ben's convoy is caught in an explosion, and he has brain injuries. He's in a come for two months and when he wakes up, he doesn't remember anyone or anything.
Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers. Robin's from New York (Harlem) and after 9/11, he can't see going to college when he can be fighting the people who did this to his city, his country. But when he gets to Iraq, he learns that things aren't a clear as he thought. Iraq is beautiful, but war is something else entirely.
Personal Effects by E. M. Kokie. TJ was killed in Iraq and his younger brother Matt hasn't been able function since. When TJ's trunks arrive, Matt thinks going through the letters and effects will help bring closure, but they end up showing Matt a side of his brother he never knew, or imagined.
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer. Teens might get turned off by the fact it's published for adults and nearly 800 pages, but this is one that deserves a second glance. Told by many characters, this covers 1 campaign for 1 island in the South Pacific during WWII. It's gripping and action-packed, and teens will really like it.
Ghosts in the Fog: The Untold Story of Alaska's WWII Invasion by Samantha Seiple. On June 7, 1942, Japan invaded Alaska. On June 10, 1942, the U.S. Navy denied that it happened. This terrifying book looks at a little known story of when Japan invaded the Aleutian islands and took many local villagers as POWs. The American Army then took the remaining Native residents to an internment camp "for their protection."
Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis. Octavia and Tali are not happy about having to go on a road-trip with Mare, their grandmother who refuses to act her age. But they learn to see a different side to Mare as she tells them of how ran away from home and lied about her age to join an African American regiment in the WAC during WWII.
The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery by Steve Sheinkin. This is a rip-roaring yarn of fierce battles, crazy stunts, and incredible bravery that then goes completely wrong when Arnold does the unthinkable. Although we’re still unsure as to WHY he did it, we get a much more complete picture of the man than we usually do.
A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway. This is a good one to give to teens who think they don't like Hemingway. It's the story of a love affair between an American soldier and a British nurse in WWI, and the sacrifices one will make.
Which ones am I missing?
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