Walter Dean Myers is the 2012 - 2013 National Ambassador for Young
People's Literature. He is the critically acclaimed New York Times
bestselling author an award-winning body of work which includes,
SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS, SLAM!, and MONSTER. Mr. Myers has
received two Newbery Honor medals, five Coretta Scott King Author
Awards, and three National Book Award Finalists citations. In
addition, he is the winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award. He
lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Gr 8 Up-Walter Dean Myers tells a compelling story (Scholastic, 2008) about the Iraq War from the perspective of a young Civil Affairs soldier. Robin Perry, nephew of Richie (the main character from Myers's earlier book, Fallen Angels) heads to war full of vigor and hope to defend his country and prove to his parents that he is a man in his own right. The realities of war soon hit home, and Robin, known as "Birdy" to his unit, begins to wonder who his enemies really are in the war. He can't seem to see them in the faces of the women or children he meets along the way. He does, however, see their shadowy visages in the deaths and injuries his unit faces from roadside bombs and sniper attacks. Beautifully told to interest teens in the truths of war, without going into excessively violent or graphic detail, this wonderful book is enhanced by JD Jackson's superb reading. He conveys the emotional depth of the character with ease, drawing listeners into "Birdy's" doubts and fears and tugging them along into his heart palpitating near misses. The brilliance of the book is the balance of these moments with those that allow the young man and his team to relax, really connect with people, and grow into true heroes. An excellent book and an even better audiobook.-Jessica Miller, New Britain Public Library, CT Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.