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Purple Heart Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 1, 2009
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“Many of the soldiers in Iraq were not yet teenagers when this war began. What they and the children of Iraq are experiencing is not a political issue-it’s a human issue. PURPLE HEART is a visceral and affecting portrait of their world.” (—Bob Woodruff, ABC News )
“McCormick builds the plot subtly and carefully with rich, spare prose.” (Kirkus Reviews )
“In this suspenseful psychological thriller…McCormick raises moral questions without judgment and will have readers examining not only this conflict but the nature of heroism and war.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) )
From the Author
Sometimes a book begins with a single, unforgettable image.
A few years ago, I had the privilege of working on an unusual peace demonstration─one that united Vietnam vets with recent veterans from the war in Iraq and old-fashioned peaceniks. These unlikely groups were brought together by the American Friends Service Committee, the Quakers.
As a group, we arranged more than 3,600 pairs of combat boots, each one tagged with the name of a soldier who'd died in Iraq or Afghanistan, in a display that was meant to symbolize the real human cost of the war. Nearby, we laid out a pile of civilian shoes to symbolize the uncounted men, women and children who'd died in Iraq.
One pair of shoes caught my eye. It was a pair of sneakers, just the right size for a ten-year-old boy. I instantly saw that boy being shot in the chest, his small body flung into the air from the force of the blast. As much as I tried to forget such a horrific image, I couldn't. And so I spent the next few years imagining how such a thing could happen.
Purple Heart is a fictionalized look at that death, and how two young American soldiers may or may not have been involved in it. It isn't an anti-war book. It isn't a pro-war book. It's an attempt to portray how three children─two eighteen-year-old Americans and a ten-year-old Iraqi boy─have been affected by war.
It's estimated that more than 650,000 civilians have died in Iraq. Because this war has been fought in cities, in and amongst families, civilian fatalities have become the "signature" of this conflict─causing profound moral conflicts for soldiers and profound losses for those families.
I finished this book with as many questions as I had when I started. I came away with a deepened respect for our soldiers, a better appreciation of life in a war zone, and a strengthened commitment to peace. My hope is that readers will, too.
Top Customer Reviews
Matt Duffy, a private in the U.S. Army who is serving in the Iraq War, opens his eyes to a doctor poking his feet with a sharp object, testing his nervous system. He is having flashbacks from the attack, a strange sequence of events that seems to culminate in a child being shot and an explosion right next to him. Matt doesn't remember exactly what happened, just a series of bizarre details from the alley: a stray dog sifting through garbage, a candy wrapper caught on a coil of razor wire, and the resonation of a muezzin call for the mosque. Then a man speaks to him "on behalf of the President of the United States and the citizens of a grateful nation," and he is awarded the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in combat. The man goes on to tell Matt, "Your mission now, son, is to get better." But such an order is easier said than done.
Matt has to relearn to walk and think. He has constant headaches and is medicated for them. One of his legs drags, a permanent injury. The Army doctor assesses him regularly to determine if his other injuries will be permanent as well. His buddy, Justin, comes to visit him in the hospital, and he tells Matt, "You're fine. You've got a black eye, but to tell you the truth," Justin jokes, "it's actually an improvement." Matt discovers that Justin, while under heavy fire, carried him out of the attack zone --- he saved Matt's life. And Justin tells him what he remembers of the attack:
"We got separated...So we end up in an alley...and the bastards jump out of their car and disappear inside a house at the far end of the street. So we jump out of the Humvee and take off on foot. As soon as we do, we start taking fire...Read more ›
Purple Heart Book Review
By: Patricia McCormick
Purple Heart Review
10 Debatable questions
1.Why does matt care so much about ail?
2.Does Caroline still care about matt?
3.Is Justin keeping a secrtet from matt?
4.How will Matt and his squad reunite?
5.Will Matt need to be transported to Germany
6.How will Matt get a hold of Caroline?
7.How will francis play a role in matts life
8.Will Charlene join matt if he goes to germany
9.Will Matt ever regain all of his memory?
10.How does Justin feel about matts tbi
15 Vocab words
Hurriedly(page 3)-moving or working rapidly, especially forced or required to hurry, as a person.
Cognitive(page 3)-of or pertaining to the act or process of knowing, perceiving, remembering, etc.; of or relating to cognition
Fatigue(page 5)- a cause of weariness; slow ordeal; exertion
Tepid(page 6)-moderately warm; lukewarm
Scarcely(page 10)-barely; hardly; not quite
Evaluation(page 13)-an act or instance of evaluating or appraising
Obscene(page 17)-offensive to morality or decency; indecent; depraved
Insurgents(page 19)-a person who rises in forcible opposition to lawful authority, especially a person who engages in armed resistance to a government or to the execution of its laws; rebel.
Moonscape(page 20)-the general appearance of the surface of the moon
Delicate(page 22)-fragile; easily damaged; frail
Briskly(page 23)-quick and active; lively
Hemmed(page 25)-to fold back and sew down the edge of (cloth, a garment, etc.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you would like a quick easy read about a young man dealing with the affects of war..this is definitely worth your time.Published 5 months ago by misstweets
It was a realistic view of a soldier in a situation he doubts himself and humanity.Published 13 months ago by lynettemiller
Really interesting and I really enjoyed it. I couldn't stop reading it. I really recommend it to other kids. It is a mature book and a lot of action.Published on August 14, 2014 by Wyatt
My son enjoys books (FINALLY) and this one seems to keep his attention!
I feel most boys and girls would like this book.
I purchased these for a teacher in my school district as requested. She has been very happy with them so far.Published on February 25, 2014 by Kim Lehner
My daughters is in high school and glad to have bought the book for a great deal and was received as shown and promised.Published on September 22, 2013 by Tracie
It is realy hard to find a book that my 13 year old sports minded son will read- He read this in 2 weeks. Read morePublished on August 24, 2013 by JJ& Boys
I would hive this book a solid 4 or 4 1/2 stars. I really enjoyed reading it. I would like for this book to have more of a conflict, but it ends great. Read morePublished on July 28, 2013 by Chandler
This brought back memories. Some good and some bad. Very well written with a real surprise ending. Great writing I would and will read more of this author's tailsPublished on March 28, 2013 by CCode