Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick

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When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he's honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn't feel like a hero.

There's a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. Matt can't shake the feeling that he was somehow involved in his death. But because of a head injury he sustained just moments after the boy was shot, Matt can't quite put all the pieces together.

Eventually Matt is sent back into combat with his squad—Justin, Wolf, and Charlene—the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He just wants to go back to being the soldier he once was. But he sees potential threats everywhere and lives in fear of not being able to pull the trigger when the time comes. In combat there is no black-and-white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.

National Book Award Finalist Patricia McCormick has written a visceral and compelling portrait of life in a war zone, where loyalty is valued above all, and death is terrifyingly commonplace.


About Patricia McCormick

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Patricia McCormick is a former journalist who has won much acclaim for her compassionate approach to hard-hitting subjects. Her most recent book, Purple Heart, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and her book Sold was a National Book Award finalist. Her other books, Cut and My Brother's Keeper, were received with national acclaim. Patricia lives in New York with her family. You can visit her online at www.pattymccormick.com.
Published August 18, 2009 by Balzer + Bray. 224 pages
Genres: Young Adult, War, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Purple Heart

The New York Times

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A soldier’s recovery of memory is fertile ground for the big themes of the Iraq war, and McCormick plants plenty of them in the book.

Nov 05 2009 | Read Full Review of Purple Heart

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