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Sunrise Over Fallujah Mass Market Paperback – April 15, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; Reprint edition (April 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439916259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439916257
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Robin's parents aspire for him to go to college, but following September 11, he feels compelled to join the Army instead. By early 2003, Robin has completed Basic Training and is deployed to Iraq where he becomes part of a Civil Affairs Unit charged with building the trust of the Iraqi people to minimize fighting. Civil Affairs soldiers are often put into deadly situations to test the waters, and Robin finds that the people in his unit, who nickname him "Birdy," are the only ones he can trust. Robin quickly learns that the situation in Iraq will not be resolved easily and that much of what is happening there will never make the news. Facing the horrors of war, Robin tries to remain hopeful and comforting in his letters to his family, never showing his fear or the danger he actually faces. The story of teenagers going to war today is an important one, and it is not told often enough. Myers writes an important book to have in any collection to recognize that many teens will choose to join the military instead of, or before, going on to college. Robin is only eighteen, and it is difficult to watch his innocence erased as war leaves its mark on him, but it is the reality for many young men and women. This fine book could be included with a unit on current events and is a good choice for boys. Reviewer: Stephanie Petruso
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1) --Voya

In 2003, in the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom, young Robin Perry already wonders about "an enemy we can't identify and friends we're not sure about." Myers dedicates this novel to the men and women who serve in the United States Armed Services and to their families, and he offers a powerful study of the strange war they have been sent to fight, where confusion and randomness rule. Why are they fighting? Whom are they fighting? When will they be hit next? Narrated by Robin, nephew of Richie Perry, the main character of the landmark Fallen Angels (1988), this companion expertly evokes the beauty of Iraq and the ugliness of war. Given the paucity of works on this war, this is an important volume, covering much ground and offering much insight. Robin's eventual understanding that his experience was not about winning or losing the war but about "reaching for the highest idea of life" makes this a worthy successor to Myers's Coretta Scott King Award-winning classic. (map, glossary) (Fiction. 12+) --Kirkus --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

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.

More About the Author

Walter Dean Myers is a New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author who has garnered much respect and admiration for his fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for young people. Winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award, he is considered one of the preeminent writers for children. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his family.

Customer Reviews

My son bought the book to read and loved it.
John T. Briery
This book is also a great read for teens thinking about going in to the military because you get to learn things most people don't know about the military.
HuntingSpence
Walter Dean Myers is primarily known as a young adult author but this book is far more interesting and compelling and should be read by adults as well.
Sylviastel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kirsten G. Cutler on October 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Myers, Walter Dean. Sunrise Over Fallujah. Scholastic Press. 2008.
This is a poignant story about a young black soldier from Harlem, New York who is sent to Iraq in the early days of the war; and although fiction, his impressions, experiences and friendships portray vividly the emotional tension of a war zone. The book begins with a heartfelt letter that Robin "Birdy" Perry writes to his Uncle Richie, a Vietnam vet. "Birdy" explains that he wanted to help his country after 911 and he thought that his war experience would be different from that of his Uncle who had to deal with anger from his fellow Americans when he returned home. He asks his Uncle to help his father understand why he needs to fight for his country. Contemporary language and realistic interactions lend immediacy to this dramatic story that reveals the powerful friendships and conflicts that can arise amidst the affecting life and death backdrop of war.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on May 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By War Witch on January 26, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Several times while reading this book I had to stop and remind myself that this was a novel and a work of fiction. Walter Dean Myers captures the very essence of the early days of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As a Member of an Army Transportation Unit deployed to Iraq from April of 2003 to May of 2004, I recognized many of the sights and sounds (and even the smells) brought to life by the author.

War is a challenge for the best of us, and the young people depicted in this novel are no different than those that I had the privilege of serving with. This book is not a political statement, but instead a glimpse into the very life of the first OIF soldiers. For those who believe that Mr. Myers characters are whiny and unprofessional, I am here to tell you that you worry more about soldiers when they cease to complain. For that is the very first clue that your troops have lost their drive and their will to survive.

I would recommend this book to any young person who is considering joining the military, and I salute Mr. Myers for a first rate book and also Scholastic for printing such a timely and profound piece.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sandy Carlson on May 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robin "Birdy" Perry feels compelled to leave Harlem, forego college, and join the Army in the aftermath of 9/11. He does just that--without his father's support. In Sunrise over Fallujah, the 2008 young adult novel by acclaim writer Walter Dean Myers, Birdy finds himself in Iraq and attached to a Civil Affairs unit, a group of soldiers assigned the dubious honor of testing the waters in various "hearts and mind" situations with local Iraqis conceived by higher ups who say they are intent on establishing peace and building democracy. Birdy soon learns the people he can trust are the men and women soldiering right alongside them. Beyond this small group, nothing's for sure.

Because soliders who participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom had not only to defeat an enemy but also to build relationships with locals whose loyalties might by lie with the old regime or with some other religious faction or with some other tribe, knowing where to point the gun and when to soot becomes a nightmarish challenge. The Rules of Engagement change from day to day. Nothing is clear. Nobody can be trusted. Everyone has an agenda. And some lies are very convincing.

Myers's novel takes the reader on a journey through the desert, the streets of Baghdad, and other parts of Iraq that are as mysterious as they are ancient and sometimes incomprehensible to the young man from Harlem and his friends--a tough gunner who bounced around in foster care, a wannabe blues musician, a dad--in uniform.
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