Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
The Iraq War, in the news now for years, is the focus of SUNRISE OVER FALLUJAH, the latest book by veteran YA author Walter Dean Myers. He has written other war stories, but this newest one expresses the controversy and mixed emotions Iraq has generated among so many.
Robin Perry, aka Birdy, has made the decision to enlist. Certain members of his family have expressed their concern and even disapproval of Robin's decision to serve. Through occasional letters to family members, readers learn about many of Robin's wartime experiences.
As part of a unit assigned to handle civil matters with the Iraqi people, Robin and his fellow soldiers still see all angles of military action. The endless lines of army and marine vehicles traveling toward Baghdad, the choking sand storms, the frightening IED explosions, and grieving soldiers and civilians all combine to illustrate the horrors of war.
Robin's feelings about the senselessness of the war are clearly expressed. As the events of his tour of duty unfold, he realizes if asked whether the Americans were winning or losing, he would find the question unanswerable. The promise of a quick return home for the troops turns into delay after delay as it becomes obvious that Saddam's reign may have ended, but many more deep-seated problems exist in war-torn Iraq.
Although the story of SUNRISE OVER FALLUJAH is a mere glimpse of the action through the eyes of few, Myers has created a chance for teens to learn about a war that has filled their days much as the Vietnam War became part of the lives of teens some thirty years ago.