Row book summaries

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  • 1. Representations of War
    Book Choices
  • 2. Genre: Fiction
    Setting: Iraq
    War on Terror
    Perry is a recent high-school graduate who went against his parents’ wishes and signed up for the Army. He writes letters to his uncle about his experiences as a soldier.
  • 3. Genre: Fiction
    Setting: England
    Modern day
    Daisy takes a trip to visit her aunt and cousins, but war breaks out in England while her aunt is away on business, leaving Daisy and her cousins to survive on their own.
  • 4. Genre: Biography
    Setting: Vietnam
    1970s
    There have been many Marines. There have been many marksmen. But there has only been one Sergeant Carlos Hathcock. A legend in the Marine ranks, Hathcock stalked the Viet Cong behind enemy lines-on their own ground. And each time he emerged from the jungle having done his duty. His record is one of the finest in military history, with 93 confirmed kills.
  • 5. Genre: Nonfiction
    Setting: Bosnia/Sweden
    1990s
    S. lies in a Hospital in Sweden, where she has just given birth to a baby boy. She refuses to nurse him. The woman lying next to her is shocked by her behavior, but she does not know the history of how this boy was conceived. As she lies in the hospital bed, S. remembers the summer of 1992, from the day when the soldiers rounded up the occupants of the Muslim village of B., shot the men and herded the shocked, obedient women onto buses. She remembers life in the camp, where she was assigned to help E., the nurse, tend the sick, and the horrible rumors about the "women's room," where women are taken for the Serbian soldiers to rape.
  • 6. Genre: Fiction
    Setting: NYC
    Post 9/11
    Oskar Schell is not your average nine-year-old. A budding inventor, he spends his time imagining wonderful creations. He also collects random photographs for his scrapbook and sends letters to scientists. When his father dies in the World Trade Center collapse, Oskar shifts his boundless energy to a quest for answers. He finds a key hidden in his father's things that doesn't fit any lock in their New York City apartment; its container is labeled "Black." Oskar sets out to speak to everyone in New York City with the last name of Black.
  • 7. Genre: Memoir
    Setting: 2002
    Pakistan
    When Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped by terrorists in Pakistan in 2002, his very pregnant wife, Mariane, was left to try to manage the search effort. In this memoir of the month between Pearl's kidnapping and news of his death, she is unflinching, revealing every emotional detail with such honesty that to call the book heart-wrenching is to minimize its power.
  • 8. Genre: Memoir
    Setting: Cambodia
    1970s
    She tells the story of her family and their battle against the Khmer Rouge, a totalitarian party which ruled Cambodia from 1975-1979. Ung was five years old when she and her family of eight were forced to leave their home in the capital of Cambodia, where her father was an employee of the government which is being destroyed, and walk into the countryside. Her family was forced to pose as peasants in order to avoid the senseless brutality dished out by the Khmer Rouge. It seems that the horrific happenings encountered and witnessed by Luong's family are unending in the middle of a genocide.
  • 9. Genre: Nonfiction
    Setting: Afghanistan
    War on Terror
    In May 2002, Tillman walked away from his $3.6 million NFL contract to enlist in the United States Army. He was deeply troubled by 9/11, and he felt a strong moral obligation to join the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Two years later, he died on a desolate hillside in southeastern Afghanistan.
  • 10. Genre: Fiction
    Setting: Poland
    WWII
    Two Jewish children, a girl of 11 and her seven-year-old brother, are left to wander the woods after their father and stepmother are forced to abandon them, frantically begging them never to say their Jewish names, but to identify themselves as Hansel and Gretel. In an imaginative reversal of the original tale, they encounter a small woman named Magda, known as a "witch" by villagers, who risks her life in harboring them. The story alternates between the children's nightmarish adventures, and their parents' struggle for survival and hope for a safe reunion.
  • 11. Genre: Short Stories?
    Setting: Vietnam
    This isn't a memoir. It isn't a novel. A collection of short stories wouldn't even be the way to describe this. It's a combination of all three. The main character is named Tim, but the author admits that many of the things in the book never happened to him. Tim wrestles with the choices of going to Vietnam and serving his country or running for Canada and saving his hide. This story dances with truth as it mirrors the real experiences of Tim O'Brien in 'Nam, but they're not quite what happened. This book contains graphic scenes and a lot of colorful language, but it is a classic, timeless view of one of the most controversial wars in our history as a country.
  • 12. Genre: Memoir
    Setting: Sierra Leone
    1990s
    Beahwas a typical, michevious 12-year-old. But when rebel forces attacked his village, he was forced to leave his home and travel the arid deserts and jungles of Africa. After several months of struggle, he was recruited by the national army, made a full soldier and learned to shoot an AK-47, and hated everyone who came up against the rebels. This normal boy is easily transformed into someone as addicted to killing as he is to the cocaine that the army makes readily available. But an abrupt change occurred a few years later when agents from the United Nations pulled him out of the army and placed him in a rehabilitation center. Anger and hate slowly faded away, and readers see the first glimmers of Beah's work as an advocate. This powerful record of war ends as a beacon to all teens experiencing violence around them by showing them that there are other ways to survive than by adding to the chaos.
  • 13. Genre: Fiction
    Setting: Afghanistan
    1970s-2000
    An in-depth exploration of Afghan society in the three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban cruelty. He impels us to empathize with and admire those most victimized by Afghan history and culture—women. Mariam, a 15-year-old bastard whose mother commits suicide, is married off to 40-year-old Rasheed, who abuses her brutally, especially after she has several miscarriages. At 60, Rasheed takes in 14-year-old Laila, whose parents were blown up by stray bombs. He soon turns violent with her. Although Laila is united with her childhood beloved, the potential return of the Taliban always shadows their happiness.