Upon his arrival in the country, Richie is sent to the American base at Chu Lai in South Vietnam. He spends the greater part of his tour of...

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Literary Qualities

The first-person narrative brings an immediacy to the action and descriptions in the novel. Through Richie's observations and commentary,...

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Social Sensitivity

Myers's novel deals with social issues of current importance and concern in society: the morality of war, racism, and classism. The most...

(The entire section is 576 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Bishop, Rudine Sims. Presenting Walter Dean Myers. Boston: Twayne, 1991. Brief monograph meant to introduce readers to Myers and his work, providing serious analysis of the novels and of young adult literature generally.

Burshtein, Karen. Walter Dean Myers. New York: Rosen, 2004.

Goff, Stanley, and Robert Sanders. Brothers: Black Soldiers in the Nam. Novato, Calif.: Presidio, 1982. Study of the experience of African American soldiers in the Vietnam War. Provides useful context for Myers’s novel.

Snodgrass, Mary Ellen. Walter Dean Myers: A Literary Companion....

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Topics for Discussion

1. Richie has dreams of going to college and becoming a writer, yet, he forgoes these to join the army. Why does he feel this is his only...

(The entire section is 321 words.)

Ideas for Reports and Papers

1. Myers has created a world and populated it with characters from a variety of places and backgrounds. Even though this world is different...

(The entire section is 178 words.)

Related Titles / Adaptations

Myers's fiction focuses on the experiences of young African Americans in society. His characters live in large cities where many of the...

(The entire section is 458 words.)

For Further Reference

"Celebrating Literacy: The Language of Freedom." Reading Today 9 (1992): 1. This article provides an account of Myers's talk to the...

(The entire section is 306 words.)