Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Invasion by Walter Dean Myers

War is hell. It's a cliche, but it is so true. Walter Dean Myers holds nothing back in his depiction of the horrors of combat: the terror, the exhaustion, the hunger, the death, the blood, the dirt, the explosions. Imagine living a life where you could be killed any minute of every day; a life where you are talking to a buddy one minute and seeing him laying on the ground bleeding from a hole in his chest the next; a life where your fate is in the hands of leaders who sometimes seem as confused as you.

During World War II, Josiah Wedgewood (aka Woody) of Richmand, Virginia, lands on the beach with his platoon at Normandy and moves across France fighting the Germans. We are with Woody as he thinks about a girl at home; as he talks with fellow soldiers; as he sees friends die. Like Myers' other war stories, this on has no real plot; it is just the daily existence of soldiers in the middle of a war. There are only brief appearances of African American soldiers underlining the segregation that existed at the time in the armed forces.

This story is loosely connected to Myer's other books Fallen Angels and Sunrise Over Fallujah. Family members from three generations end up fighting in three different wars: in Europe, in Vietnam and in Iraq. How many generations must go to war? The futility of it all is part of Myer's point.

For more info, check out the Evergreen Library catalog and the author's site.

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