In this young reader’s adaptation of his memoir, Settle (with Rearden: Never Quit: From Alaskan Wilderness Rescues to Afghanistan Firefights as an Elite Special Ops PJ, 2017) recounts the extraordinarily challenging process of becoming a pararescue jumper.
From humble beginnings as the son of a single mother who was a recovering addict, Settle enrolled at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was diagnosed with a heart condition. Although corrected by surgery, it ended his dream of becoming a Navy Seal, and rather than completing his education and pursuing another career path, he chose to drop out. Returning home to Alaska and working in a shoe store, Settle was inspired by a friend to become a PJ, spending a year conditioning himself to successfully complete the Alaska team’s Physical Ability and Stamina Test, the most difficult in the nation. Settle recounts in vivid detail his experiences in basic training at “Superman School” and its punishing physical demands. Additional specialized training in parachuting, survival skills, and diving, not to mention EMT training and paramedic school, prepared him for deployment to Afghanistan. There, he recovered from being shot in the head, going on to save the lives of others, with the final few chapters offering intense scenes of battlefield trauma. The rapid-fire pace and nonstop action will maintain the interest of those who appreciate military stories.
A remarkable, inspiring story of steadfast courage and irrepressible determination. (Nonfiction. 12-16)