Bk. 2. 188p. (Vietnam Series). Scholastic. 2012. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-545-27026-7.
Gr 7 Up—Lynch deftly explores the impact of the Vietnam War on the youth who fought it. Each book in this series is narrated by one of four friends, so readers will understand how war has profoundly changed each one. This installment features Ivan Bucyk. The son of a proud World War II veteran, he is excited to enlist in the Army, while his three closest friends are frightened and unsure of going to war (Ivan talks one of them out of fleeing to Canada when he's drafted). The teen thinks he is prepared to fight for his country, but he isn't prepared for the jungle's suffocating heat, the gruesome images of dead Vietnamese, the discipline of sniper training, or the harsh realities of losing fellow soldiers. Despite the friends' pledge to stay connected, Ivan closes himself off to their letters and other communication. War changes a man, and now Ivan wants nothing more than to go home. The depictions of the conditions of living and fighting in Vietnam offer readers insight into what made this particular war so different from its predecessors. A good choice for those seeking to understand the emotional complexities of war.—Kimberly Garnick Giarratano, Northampton Community College, Hawley, PA
This is the second book in Lynch's series about how the Vietnam War affects four friends. Here Ivan, the only one excited about serving, joins the army and is trained as a sharpshooter. Emotions surge as he comes to terms with the harsh realities of war. The characters are flat, but this book gives an honest account of wartime military service.

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