Reading Lists

War and Veterans (RD 80 and 90)

Basher five-two : the true story of F-16 fighter pilot Captain Scott O'Grady

O'Grady, Scott, French, Michael

Doubleday 1997

The true story of F-16 fighter pilot Scott O'Grady on a mission over Bosnia who was shot down and survived in enemy territory until his daring rescue.

A long way gone : memoirs of a boy soldier

Beah, Ishmael

Farrar, Straus & Giroux 2008

This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived. Ishmael Beah, now 25 years old, tells how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.--From publisher description.

Sunrise over Fallujah

Myers, Walter Dean

Scholastic 2009

Robin Perry, from Harlem, is sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian Affairs Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes him.

War child : a child soldier's story

Jal, Emmanuel, Davies, Megan Lloyd

St. Martin's Press 2009

In the mid-1980s, Emmanuel Jal was a seven-year-old Sudanese boy, living in a small village. But as Sudan's civil war moved closer, his family moved again and again, seeking peace. Then, one terrible day, Jal was separated from his mother, and later learned she had been killed; his father Simon rose to become a powerful commander in the Christian Sudanese Liberation Army, fighting for the freedom of Sudan. Soon, Jal was conscripted into that army, one of 10,000 child soldiers, and fought through two separate civil wars over nearly a decade. Remarkably, he survived, and was adopted by a British aid worker, beginning the journey that would lead him to music: he recorded and released his own album, including the number one hip-hop single in Kenya, and has gone on to perform with international music stars, and to use his fame to help children like him.--From publisher description.

The yellow birds : a novel

Powers, Kevin

Little, Brown and Co. 2012

In the midst of a bloody battle in the Iraq War, two soldiers, bound together since basic training, do everything to protect each other from both outside enemies and the internal struggles that come from constant danger. This novel written by a veteran of the war in Iraq, is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive. "The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined. In addition the novel also offers insight into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home.

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