A personal, moving foray into the Vietnam War and its impact on the country and individuals whose lives it forever changed.
Partridge (Dogtag Summer, 2011, etc.) takes readers on a chronological, multidimensional journey through the Vietnam War years via the personal stories of eight individuals: six American soldiers from diverse social and ethnic backgrounds, a biracial (Chinese- and Italian-American) nurse, and a Vietnamese refugee. Each segment moves readers forward in time and is interspersed with brief snapshots of what was happening at home, from glimpses of the American presidents’ handling of the escalating crisis to the growing anti-war movement at home, viewed through the lens of leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and protest singer Country Joe McDonald. Of particular interest is the segment on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a collaboration between veterans, government officials, and its young Chinese-American designer, Maya Lin. Emphasizing the lasting emotional legacy of the war for those who served, even as the rest of the country seemed content to put it behind them, Partridge’s narrative storytelling is incisive and masterfully woven together. A superb selection of photographs puts an indelible face on the individuals whose lives the war affected.
A valuable complement to existing nonfiction about the Vietnam War for young people, adding an intimate dimension to the larger history. (bibliography, source notes, index, photo credits) (Nonfiction. 12-18)