Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Buy Used
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Like New | Details
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Book in almost Brand New condition. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Purple Daze Hardcover – March 22, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$1.04 $0.01

100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
Amazon's editors chose their list of the one hundred young adult books to read, whether you're fourteen or forty...Learn more

Editorial Reviews


Tim Wynne-Jones, author of The Uninvited
Purple Daze is an explosion: a moment in time smashed into a thousand glinty, sharp-edged pieces, precise and dazzling.”

Valerie Hobbs, author of Sheep, California Young Reader Medal
"I stayed up half the night reading Purple Daze and didn’t want it to end. Ziggy, Mickey, Cheryl, and Phil have found a permanent home in my heart."

Ron Koertge, award-winning author of Strays
"Sherry Shahan took me right back to the 60's with this deftly-written, politically charged novel-in-verse. Be warned -- "Purple Daze" will put a spell on you, too!"

Rita Williams-Garcia, author of “One Crazy Summer,” National Book Award Finalist, Newbery Honor, Scott O'Dell Historical Award, Coretta Scott King Author
"Shahan's PURPLE DAZE puts us on the front lines of funky times, from Los Angeles to Da-Nang. A far out, implosive, psychedelic trip that ends in indictment. This is spectacular."

VOYA, April 2011
“Shahan captures the tension and desperation of ‘60s young people who were caught up in the events, while also highlighting the chaos with song lyrics.  PURPLE DAZE will enable young adults to identify on a personal level with The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (Houghton Mifflin, 1990), which is often included in curriculum lists.” 
Taylor Lovett, Duxbury Free Library Teen Galley Reader
“It’s a fast read and the story is really thought consuming.  It also incorporates history.  I could not stop reading until I was finished.”

Book End Babes.com 1/18/11
"Sometimes a book can surprise you. Sometimes you open a book and don’t know what to make of it. Sometimes you stay up until midnight reading a book and then stay up until three, reading it again. Sometimes all three are true, and (for me) that was the case with YA novel PURPLE DAZE by Sherry Shahan"

Catherine Ryan Hyde, author of 14 novels, including Pay It Forward
"A raw and stunning portrait of the 60’s. For those who lived them, Purple Daze will bring your past to life. For those who didn't, this story will make you feel as though you did."
Wendelin Van Draanen
"Compelling authenticity and emotional force."
Ron Koertge
"Deftly written, politically charged… Purple Daze will put a spell on you."
Zoe Jovanovich, Sno-Isle Mukilteo Library, YALSA Teen Reader
The most compelling aspect of this book was the time period. Most historical fiction books I see for young adults are generally in the 1800s, or around that time; after a while when I hear “historical fiction” I immediately think of that time period. It was really refreshing to read this book. I also loved how the author jumped right into these teenagers’ lives and had little historical blurbs throughout the book, subtly connecting the characters to them. It made it seem all the more real, as if the characters were really there. Also, the introduction to 1966 and the 1965 timeline at the end of the book really gave a sense of completion… Even though this was a really quick read, the format fit the book, which is another reason why it was so interesting. The poetry, letters, and journals were a refreshing change.
New York Journal of Books , March 2011
Purple Daze is a cutting-edge novel, strategically written to keep you wanting more as you delve deeper into the love and conflict of the rocky 1960s.

Told from the viewpoints of six main characters—Ziggy, Mickey, Phil, Nancy, Cheryl, and Don—Purple Daze gives the reader a dynamic experience of both the social and political ups and downs of a critical time in history. Not being your average historical fiction novel, Purple Daze is a combination of letters, journal entries, notes, and newspaper clippings jaggedly put together in free verse to express a timeline of war, relationships, political movements, and rock ’n’ roll.

Although sometimes hard to follow along, this story provides an insight into the mindset of teens during the year 1965, specifically into their exciting, sometimes funny, and always dramatic lives. Through life changing experiences like witnessing firsthand the Vietnam War, these six friends find themselves and discover the true meaning of friendship and sticking by what you believe in.

Slammed by the consequences of their actions, whether with relationships, parents, partying, or high school, Ziggy, Mickey, Phil, Nancy, Cheryl, and Don eventually grow up and learn to make the right choices. Touching upon controversial issues during this time, Sherry Shahan effortlessly describes how the six teens deal with whatever hits them; yet despite the plethora of action, Ms. Shahan manages to develop and maintain the characters’ individual personalities and perspectives throughout the entire story.

Eccentric yet tasteful, Purple Daze is uniquely and beautifully written, highlighting author Shahan’s one-of-a-kind writing style and technique. Whether the reader is looking for a blast from the past purposefully executed, or a rollercoaster ride of a novel, Purple Daze is sure to please both young adult and adult audiences.

School Library Journal
"Infidelity, abortion, friendship, grief, personal growth, and forgiveness are just some of the issues involved... Reluctant readers may be the best audience to enjoy this fast ride through the period."

Bethesda Library Teen Galley Reader
“It seems nothing’s changed from the ‘60’s and present day. Purple Daze touches on all the issues that still are alive today, and show how badly people were affected by them. Filled with teen angst, heart break, love, racism, and much more, Purple Daze is a must read.”


About the Author

Sherry Shahan is both an author and a photo illustrator. She has written more than 30 children's and YA books in her lifetime, including the bestselling Alaskan-based adventure, Frozen Stiff. Sherry loves to travel which has been an inspiration for many of her books. When she isn't riding through Africa on horseback or on dogsleds in Alaska, you will probably find her dancing whether it be on ice-capped mountains or in dance contests.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press Kids (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762440716
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762440719
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,206,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

SKIN AND BONES (Albert Whitman) is a quirky love story set in an Eating Disorders hospital. The main character 'Bones' is a 16-year-old nerdboy with anorexia who falls for Alice--an aspiring ballerina and returning anorexic patient. Will she become his next deadly addiction?

ICE ISLAND (Random House, 2013) features teens and their hard-driving sled dogs. Woven into the bone-chilling story is info about the 1925 Serum Run and the history of Alaska's famed 1049-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. ICE ISLAND has been selected for the California Collection 2013 list. novel

PURPLE DAZE is the powerful story of an unforgettable year. It's a story about war, feminism, riots, love, racism, rock 'n' roll, and friendship. Set in suburban Los Angeles in 1965, six high school students share their intense experiences through journal entries, notes, interconnected free verse and traditional poems.

DEATH MOUNTAIN is based on a frightening personal experience: Shahan's backpacking group was caught in a deadly electrical storm on an exposed ridge. The pack horse and mule were struck by lightning and killed; three women in her party were airlifted off the mountain by helicopter.

Her adventures include hiking a leech-infested rain forest in Australia, riding horseback in Africa, and bouncing around inside a dog sled during the famed 1049-mile Iditarod Race in Alaska. And those are just the "A"s . . .

Visit: www.SherryShahan.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am beyond happy that I received this book for review because I totally would have missed out on a great book! This is the second book in the last few months I've read that has been a historical fiction written in verse and I love this trend. "Purple Daze" is a fast read where historical facts don't bog you down. The flow of the writing combined with the unique character voices was hypnotic. I breezed through this book in only a few hours. I don't usually comment on covers, but this one is awesome. It is just so vibrant; I think it will definitely draw in readers.

The voices of all the characters sucked me into the story; I didn't particularly like them all, but they were very amusing and realistic. Mickey is a character I wasn't overly fond of, but he was the perfect character to give a compelling account of what it was like being a young man in the Navy. I think my favorite character was Phil; his letters were the most powerful. I also feared for his safety with the characters in the book. Even though Ziggy is a morally shady character, I still felt for her and wanted her life to get better.

I also really enjoyed how the book had an open ended ending. Some of the characters' personal issues were wrapped up, but the book could have gone on for longer. I didn't feel unsatisfied, but I wonder if other people will be. Fighting in a war halfway around the world that seems endless and civil rights issues are still things that are happening today. The futures of these things have not been decided. There will always be causes for future generations to protest and wars to fight. Even though this book is about the past, there are a lot of issues addressed that teens can relate to.
Read more ›
Comment 3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
With Purple Daze, Sherry Shahan has accomplished the near-impossible: written a work of historically-correct fiction which educates us about events in our past AND actually makes us care about the characters. It helps that the history is presented in a totally anti-textbook fashion--it's concise, gripping, visceral, and immediate--and we see its all-too-real effects on young adult characters who are anything but cookie-cutter.

It's written in verse... as letters, as notes, as vignettes, as news clippings, as little first-person updates. All of which increase the immediacy as we follow six friends who navigate the events of 1965, in both Los Angeles and Southeast Asia.

Although that description may sound a bit dry, the book is anything but. Really, it's a great read--humorous, engaging, and completely entertaining. Suitable - and highly recommended - for readers fourteen and above.
Comment 2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
PURPLE DAZE by Sherry Shahan is that rare book which will captivate both today's teens AND the adults who lived through the 1960's. With devastating wit and a mordant humor, Shahan lets each of her six teens write their anguish to one another as they try to cope with their unique personal dramas as the national drama (and tragedy) of the VIetnam War impacts them. In pithy poetic (yes, it's written in blank verse, ) believable short bursts, each gives a glimpse of his or her daily life, often humorous and sometimes tragic.
This is a must read for someone thinking about joining the military. Shahan's book is based on the real-life story of one who joined for all the wrong reasons. War and its unforeseen devastating consequences is a sub-text in this engrossing book.

A perfect book to share with the teen in your life, who often thinks the 1960's are "ancient history."
Comment 2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purple Daze took me back to being 10 years old and watching what was going on around me with my older siblings. A familiar pit in my stomach with worry about what they were up to with drinking, drugs, driving and going off to war came right back to me. But, I was also laughing out loud with the stories of what crazy things teenagers do. The voices of Ziggy, Don, Phillip, Nancy, Bill & Cheryl spoke to me with their honesty and fear from a turbulent time in our history.

A good, quick read for young and old alike.
Comment 2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sometimes poems capture best the vibrant, painful, unmentionable moments of life. In Shahan's novel in verse, we get to see the political turmoil of 1965 through the eyes of six young adults, along with learning about their personal lives and interactions. Lines like "So far I haven't killed anybody" from one of the characters who joins the Navy, reveal character and just how crazy war is. These poems suit the subject matter very well and the six characters are quite memorable.
Comment 2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Purple Daze flows, flows back into the sixties and Viet Nam era, offering characters you'll remember struggling through adolescence with the young men facing war--so many ways innocence can be lost. The verse format, a page per character, works. Of course, I favored Cheryl who wrote the most letters, supporting Phil's journey. Each of the gang of six delivers a unique voice. Bravo. And I'd enjoy a sequel--I feel so connected to the characters.
Comment 2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
This YA novel written in verse centers on a group of teens in the year 1965. The book is a mixture of history and novel; letters, homework assignments, and journal entries. Especially memorable for me were the letters from Phil who is in Vietnam (in the war)--which was based on actual letters from a friend of the author from when he was in Vietnam. Great read for both teens and adults--this would pair nicely with the book Countdown.
Comment 2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?