Fallen Angels

by Walter Dean Myers

A landmark book offers a logical, gripping, easy-to-follow story about the illogic... read more

A landmark book offers a logical, gripping, easy-to-follow story about the illogic of war, using Vietnam for the setting and U.S. teenagers as most of the characters. Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry is the African-American protagonist whose medical papers don't catch up with him before he's shipped overseas. Although the war at home is revealed in letters the soldiers send and receive, almost all of the episodes occur in the jungle during tedious hours occasionally interrupted by minutes of sheer terror and chaos. Realistic elements include graphic scenes of military/civilian violence; tragic events of loss or betrayal; and a mild representation of the language of soldiers experiencing these events. Myers chose not to emphasize drug use and sexual activity in what seems to be an effortlessly woven plot peopled with believable characters and relieved with interludes of humor. He also resisted moralizing, but the highly moral core of the novel is evident throughout; along with Richie Perry's humanity and bravery, this morality will be remembered long after readers finish the book. Winner, 1988 CCBC Newbery Discussion. (Age 11 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1988

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