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Fallen Angels

by Walter Dean Myers

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1,906658,807 (4.03)11
Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.
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Includes map. Acknowledgment at front of book tells one reason why the author wrote the book.
  VillageProject | Oct 31, 2023 |
Walter Dean Myers' novel Fallen Angels is a realistic depiction of young men fighting on the ground during the Vietnam War. The novel follows the protagonist, Richard Perry, as he enlists in the army at 17 and goes from Harlem to Vietnam to fight. Perry is not supposed to be on the front lines, because of knee injury he sustained playing basketball, but Myers quickly shows the reader how the bureaucracy of war cares little about the human cost, and Perry is thrown into combat. The story revolves around his squad, and follows the friendships of the men as they evolve, enduring the horrors of war together, including guerrilla style combat with the Vietcong, and the painful reality of growing up way too fast in a unnecessary conflict half-way around the world. Myers' story is an accurate and sobering depiction of war, as well as coming of age story that is both heartwarming at points, and heartbreaking at others. Myers questions the morality of war in general and this war in particular, and demonstrates how African Americans continued to face racist discrimination at this time, even on the battlefield. It is a thoughtful and impactful reflection of a tumultuous and violent point in American history.
  Fowlerni | Jul 18, 2023 |
Good young adult novel about a tour of duty in Vietnam. May be too graphic for younger readers. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
"There's only two kinds of people in Vietnam. People who are alert twenty-fours a day, and people who are dead."

Richie Perry was seventeen and in trouble. There was no way he could afford college, and the streets were just too tempting. The war in Vietnam seems to be winding down. it would give him something to do and three meals a day. He would probably not see combat. He thinks, this is the perfect way to cool out till he gets himself together.

Basic training wasn't so hard. But there were things they didn't tell him in basic.

They didn't tell him about Nam Rot, or napalm that sucked the air out of your lungs from a hundred yards away, or the body bags that lay in neat piles, ready for the next soldier to die.

They didn't tell him how it felt to shoot at Vietnamese soldiers no older than you were, and just as afraid.

This is the powerful story of a seventeen year old's tour of duty. Walter Dean Meyers has written a testament to the thousands of young adults who fought and died in the Vietnam War.

This is considered a young adult novel of Historical Fiction. It is graphic and for a more mature reader.

"You ain't killed nobody yet," Peewee said. They gots to be people before you kill them. You think these Congs is people?"
"Yeah sure they are."
"What are their names?"
"How the hell would I know their names?"
"What they like to eat?"
"I don't know."
"See, they ain't people to you yet. You figure out all that shit, what they names is, what they like to eat, who do the dishes and shit like that, then they people. Then you shoot them you killing somebody."
( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
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Dedication
To my brother, Thomas Wayne "Sonny" Myers, whose dream of adding beauty to this world through his humanity and his art ended in Vietnam on May 7, 1968.
First words
"Somebody must have told them suckers I was coming."
Quotations
"Kenny would be fighting with Mama about going to bed. Maybe he would wonder about about what I was doing. If he was in bed already, he wold be reading comics under the blanket with a flashlight. I wondered if he would feel anything if I got nailed? Would he wake up in the middle of the night, wondering what was wrong? Would he feel uneasy, knowing that halfway around the world his brother was hurting? Kenny, I love you."
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Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.

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Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.
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