For our 2014 War Challenge With a Twist, in which we cover six wars over the course of the year, Serena and I decided to host a few readalongs that correspond with the challenge. And since you only have to read one book to complete the challenge at the lowest level, we hope you’ll join us for one or all of these readalongs. (And it’s not too late to sign up for the challenge! The details can be found here.)
**Our first readalong will be hosted at War Through the Generations in February and focuses on the war in Iraq: Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
Robin “Birdy” Perry, a new army recruit from Harlem, is not quite sure why he enlisted, but he’s sure where he’s headed: Iraq. He’s riding along with the rest of the Civilian Affairs unit: Marla, the witty gunner; the ever-cool career man Captain Coles; Jonesy, the funny guitar-picking blues player; Victor, an ex-gangbanger; and Captain Miller, a thoughtful and complicated military doctor.
Birdy and the others in Civilian Affairs are supposed to help secure and stabilize Iraq and successfully interact with the Iraqi people. Officially, the code name for their maneuvers is Operation Iraqi Freedom. But these young men and women in the CA unit have a simpler name for it:
Much of what Birdy knows about war he learned from the letters his uncle Richie Perry wrote from Vietnam. Seems like a lot of the fear feels the same. But it’s a different time, a different war. Caught in the cross fire of a conflict, a country, and a culture he doesn’t understand, Birdy soon finds that “winning” sometimes becomes just surviving — and that hero is a complicated word. (publisher’s summary)
Discussion questions will be posted on Fridays for the designated chapters on War Through the Generations. As there are no chapter numbers, we’ll have to use page numbers (which are the same in the hardcover I have from the library and the paperback Serena owns).
Here’s the reading schedule and discussion dates:
- Friday, Feb. 7: Pgs. 1-86 (ends with “I don’t mind, though.”)
- Friday, Feb. 14: Pgs. 87-152 (begins with “April 12, 2003″; ends with “nothing over here.”)
- Friday, Feb. 21: Pgs. 153-214 (begins with “Sergeant Harris and Jonesy got” and ends with “toothpaste to the Iraqis.”)
- Friday, Feb. 28: Pgs. 215-end (begins with “A tribal leader”)
Here’s our plan for the rest of the readalongs:
April: I Am Regina by Sally M. Keehn (French and Indian War)
June: War Babies by Frederick Busch (Korean War)
August: Stella Bain by Anita Shreve (WWI)
October: The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter (WWII)
December: Going After Cacciato by Tim O’Brien (Vietnam)
We hope you’ll consider joining us for one or more of these books!
© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.