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Purple Heart

by Patricia McCormick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4433146,406 (3.79)9
While recuperating in a Baghdad hospital from a traumatic brain injury sustained during the Iraq War, eighteen-year-old soldier Matt Duffy struggles to recall what happened to him and how it relates to his ten-year-old friend, Ali.
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    Torn by David Massey (SandSing7)
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    Trigger by Susan Vaught (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: Two takes on amnesia caused by traumatic brain injury.

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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Private Matt Du y wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq and is honored with a Purple Heart. Matt eventually returns to combat, but struggles with memories of a young Iraqi boy’s death, for which he feels responsible.
  NCSS | Jul 23, 2021 |
Good addition to the SCYABA list. It should inspire thoughtful essays and discussions about war and Iraq and camaraderie. Books about war are always so tragic because of the loss of life and the toll the experiences take on the individuals who survive. War is a huge part of our world, though, and experiencing it through literature is at least one way to understand the conflicts.
The author did a good job with her research into the minds of the American soldiers. She was neither for or against war but presented the violence and death and mortality from a very human perspective. The Iraqi people were presented as "them" and as "those people," but the story was not intended to get inside the heads of the Iraqis. Leave that for another, longer, book. ( )
  ioplibrarian | Aug 26, 2018 |
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.
The above is the summary provided by Goodreads.
  Clippers | Dec 21, 2017 |
A young man is called to war and then injured during battle. TBI has made it where he has discovered his memory has been impaired, his body has been injured and he struggles with connections with his past before the battle. This story is a perfect rendition of what a solider may go though during battles and his struggles when he returns home. Although he received the award and is proud of his service, the past that was his world is altered forever.

Personal Reaction.
The author does an excellent job in making the connections with the different interviews they had conducted to make the story as real as possible. The story is easy to follow, although there is the occasional curse word so I feel that this is better suited for older children that can handle the language.

Classroom usage:
I believe I would use this book as a way to connect the student to current events, and show how the evolution of psychological and medical technology's have been adapted for military personnel. I would have to be sensitive to the fact children in my class may have a family member that has suffered this type of injury. I also feel that it would work for children that have no experience with a family member in the military have a sensitive and empathetic to people or friends that are going though something like this. ( )
  HistoryMomma | Sep 2, 2017 |
This Iraq War novel focuses on the human and emotional impacts of war rather than military action. Which is not to say that's not in here as well as a bit of raw dialogue and the typical attitudes of young men in the military. (Still, the prose is considerably tame and generally suitable for younger teens interested in the topic.) Matt suffers from a traumatic brain injury after an RPG explodes in an alley. He remembers little of the event other than the sight of a boy rising in the air as he is shot. Matt fears he is the one who shot the boy. As he struggles to recover his memories and rejoin his unit, Matt meets other soldiers dealing with injuries both physical and mental. War is hell and it shows in the complex and changing emotions that Matt and his colleagues experience. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia McCormickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Colby, JamesReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In Memoriam:
Army Sergeant Sherwood Baker
Army Specialist Joshua Justice Henry
Marine Lance Corporal Patrick B. Kenny
Army First Lieutenant Neil Anthony Santoriello
Marine Lance Corporal William Brett Wightman
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"Can you feel that, private?"
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While recuperating in a Baghdad hospital from a traumatic brain injury sustained during the Iraq War, eighteen-year-old soldier Matt Duffy struggles to recall what happened to him and how it relates to his ten-year-old friend, Ali.

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