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LOST IN THE WAR by Nancy Antle

LOST IN THE WAR

By Nancy Antle

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: June 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-8037-2299-0
Publisher: Dial

A vivid and disturbing look at the effects of the Vietnam conflict on both its survivors and those who love them. Lisa Grey’s father was killed in Vietnam, and her mother, Mary Ann, served as a nurse there. Ten years later, her mother’s fears and nightmares are getting worse instead of better with the passage of time. Lisa and little sister Jenny do their best to cope and to help, but the long-over war is starting to ruin their lives, too. When Lisa’s history class begins a month-long study of the war, she is horrified: Is there nowhere she is safe from discussion of that awful place? Matt Parker, a Vietnam veteran who lost his legs, comes to talk to the class; upon hearing that Lisa’s mother served at Chu Lai, he asks to meet her, to thank her as one of the nurses who saved the lives of so many soldiers. Through his patience and understanding, Matt helps Mary Ann understand what has happened to her, and why her year in Vietnam was not only the worst of her life, but the best. When in a final, gritty scene, the Greys and Matt visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., they experience its power, and readers know that the long, arduous process of healing has finally begun. The story takes no position on the war, but Antle instills a powerful message about its after-effects into an outwardly simple, telling story of the Grey girls and their mother. (Fiction. 11-13)