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Choosing Courage: Inspiring Stories of What…

Choosing Courage: Inspiring Stories of What It Means to Be a Hero

by Peter Collier

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Choosing Courage is a work of nonfiction, to inform the reader of the courage men and women have shown in life and have, consequently, been honored with the Medal of Honor or other Honor award for civilians.

The book is divided into sections. It begins discussing what a real hero is--not an athlete or singer, but “a special breed--a man or woman who acts on behalf of country, friends, or even strangers despite great risk to his or her own safety; someone who defends a good cause even when it seems no one else agrees; someone who decides to act when others won’t and so changes the outcome of a critical situation” (xi).

Each war or conflict has stories or personal narratives of people who received the Congressional Medal of Honor: World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The last section has examples of heroism in civilian life. Some recipients received their Medal years later as biases against races was put aside. Some recipients died to save others. Each story has truths that anyone can apply to his or her life. Most agree that each individual has a choice--to act or not to act when needed. Each story also illustrates that no one does these acts for personal glory; instead, these acts help someone else.

I think reading these stories shows how spoiled and/or removed we’ve become from war. In World War II, everyone sacrificed and chipped in. As each war/conflict arrived, Americans have responded differently. The stories in the last section, however, show people who respond with courage in civilian life. Ultimately, courage exists but believing in oneself and not focusing on self are the necessities to do the extraordinary. ( )
  acargile | Oct 22, 2016 |
This book tells the true stories of a number of people, both in the military and civilians, who chose to act in a manner that made them heroes. This is an excellent social studies book for students in grades 7-9. ( )
  Susan.Macura | May 26, 2016 |
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World War II was seen as a battle of good against evil. Because the good, represented by the United States, Great Britain, France, Canada, Russia, and other nations dedicated to fighting tyranny and oppression, emerged victorious, it is often referred to as the "good war."
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