Ben lives a charmed life--effortlessly landing the lead in the high school musical, dating the prettiest girl in school. Read more...
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Ben lives a charmed life--effortlessly landing the lead in the high school musical, dating the prettiest girl in school. When he decides to enlist in the army, no one thinks he'll be in real danger. But his decision has devastating consequences: His convoy gets caught in an explosion, and Ben ends up in a coma for two months. When he wakes up, he doesn't know where he is--or remember anything about his old life. His family and friends mourn what they see as a loss, but Ben perseveres. And as he triumphs, readers will relate to this timely novel that pairs the action and adventure of the best war stories with the emotional elements of struggle and transformation.
- ISBN-13: 9781416938958
- ISBN-10: 1416938958
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
- Publish Date: February 2012
- Page Count: 148
- Reading Level: Ages 12-UP
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Action & Adventure - Survival Stories
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Health & Daily Living - Diseases, Illnesses & Injuries
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Historical - Military & Wars
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-01-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Mazer (Heroes Don’t Run) and Lerangis (wtf) use strong characters and storytelling to explore the slow and painful recovery of an injured teenage soldier. High school senior Ben has great grades and a potentially bright future in the arts, so his friends, family, and girlfriend are all surprised when he enlists in the military. And they are horrified when he is quickly deployed to Iraq, where he receives a head injury and suffers brain damage in the line of duty. The story is divided into Before, During, and After sections; Mazer and Larangis shift their focus among the prominent people in Ben’s life, including his autistic brother, Chris; his best friend, Niko; and his fiancé, Ariela. The authors carefully demonstrate the effect the tragedy has on everyone involved, particularly Ariela’s attempts to maintain a social life in college, while vividly bringing Ben’s struggles to life. (One chapter simply shows a scribble on a sheet of paper, Ben’s attempt to write.) Readers will likely sense where the story is headed, but the journey is powerful and worthwhile. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)