by Laurie Halse Anderson
Hayley and her father moved back to his hometown to start over after spending the last five years on the road. But as she starts to settle into a normal life, her father's struggles with PTSD from his time in Iraq start to take over their lives. Though Hayley tries to keep his condition from her teachers and friends, she'll have to realize that sometimes you can't save the ones you love by yourself. A haunting look at PTSD, the book is a stark reminder that sometimes the worst scars we carry aren't ones you can see.
Anderson's book is an extremely powerful read about something that has affected so many people who've served, and how it has affected their families. Hayley is a great character, albeit sometimes a little older than her years (and sometimes extremely juvenile). The ending wraps up a little too nicely, but it's nice to imagine that things could be fixed. Overall it is a good read for anyone who likes realistic fiction, though the many references to excessive drinking and drugs make it a better read for older teens.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 10th Grade