by Henry Mazer and Peter Lerangis
Ben had it made. He was accepted at a great college, popular at school, had a great girlfriend he just proposed to. No one could understand why he chose instead to enlist in the Army. Why he wanted to go serve his country when he knew he was going to deploy to Iraq. Then the unthinkable happens. He is severely injured in an attack over there. But once his body recovers, his family must cope with another reality. That while he can physically recover, his mind, his memories, might be gone forever.
There are not a lot of books which address this aspect of war for children or teens. What is interesting is that the book tries to address the reasons for which Ben feels compelled to serve, despite coming from a background where the most common path is college and a white collar job. It could do a better job on that, but it does at least try to address it. The book is about the aftermath of an injury, one which is affecting more and more soldiers in a war where IED's are the most prevalent interaction with the enemy. The impact this has on Ben's family is both real and sad, the guilt and anger felt by them and his fiance are understandable and relatable. Overall a good read, but not one for a tween looking to read about the action and adventure of being a soldier.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 8th Grade