Sunday, March 21, 2010

Theme Week: Military in YA

I planned to do a theme week for military in young adult literature to coincide with Veterans Day back in November...but instead, it's happening this week!

Some of you might know, I grew up as a military "brat", and moved around frequently. We were stationed at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Hellenikon AFB in Athens, Greece (closed in 1993), Hill AFB in Ogden, Utah, McClellan AFB in Sacramento, California (closed in 2001), and Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. I'm also familiar with Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (near where I attended university), Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, Nevada (friends lived there for 3 years), and various installations around Germany.

My dad was lucky in that he served his 20 years during "peace" time. He did go TDY (temporary duty) some, especially to Turkey while we were in Greece, and he served one remote tour (an assignment without dependents) in South Korea when I was in 6th grade, but fortunately he didn't have to be away from us all that often.

Growing up, I had a relatively positive view of the military. Sure, I missed Saturday morning cartoons when we lived in Greece, and I wasn't that fond of moving every few years and having to leave my friends, but the military lifestyle did make me very flexible and adaptable. Oh, and it gave me serious wanderlust (I've been to 55 countries and counting).

In any case, I noticed that I had several military themed YA novels for review and on my wishlist, so I decided to make a theme week. Here's what I have planned:

Monday: Book review of OUT OF THE BLUE by SL Rottman (with focus on military dependents)

Tuesday: Emmy and Finn introduce us to military MREs (Meals Ready to Eat)

Wednesday: Author Trish Doller shares about her research process for her WIP military themed YA novel

Thursday: Book review of PURPLE HEART by Patricia McCormick (with focus on teen serving in Iraq)

Friday: Book review of BACK HOME by Julia Keller (with focus on military dependents with injured parents)

Saturday: Book review of SOLDIER X by Don L. Wulffson (with focus on a Hitler Youth during WW II)

What YA novels with a military theme have you read? I'd love to hear your recommendations!

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

great theme week - looking forward to finding out about some great novels. (Another AF Brat here - and coincidentally enough my dad also managed to get 20 years without going to war - they were sending everyone home from Vietnam by the time he got through training, and he was already on a remote in South Korea when Desert Storm happened...)

Being an AF brat does give one wanderlust and no desire to stay in one spot for the rest of one's life - you get used to moving that much...

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

Military brat who has been to 55 countries. Nw I now that I can take you to eat absolutely anything!

Jeannie @ Pine Cottage Books said...

I love your idea for a military theme week. Looking forward to reading your posts!

I was also an Air Force military brat--my Dad was at Tinker AFB for several years as well. We didn't get to go to Greece (!) but we were in Alaska for awhile.

Allie said...

What a great theme for a week! I am looking forward to your reviews!

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

I heartily recommend Fallen Angels and Sunrise over Fallujah, both by Walter Dean Myers.

Jody Sparks said...

I'm looking forward to this week. I have reviewed two military books over on my blog: Sara Lewis Holmes's OPERATION YES (Mid-grade about growing up on an Air Force base) and and non-fiction book by Michael Anthony about his experience as a young medic in Iraq- MASS CASUALTIES. I'd highly recommend those if you like military-themed books. I also have a YA military book on submission right now about a girl in ROTC who then enlists in Navy. I also have a series of interviews with soldiers over there if anyone is interested in taking a look at those.

Beth F said...

Do the battle scenes in LOTR count? I don't think I've read any YA military books... hummm.

Lenore said...

Nicole - except spicy!

Jeannie - Alaska must have been quite the experience.

ABM - Walter Dean Myers! I do need to read those.

Jody - A friend just mentioned Operation Yes to me today.

bermudaonion said...

My dad was in the Navy, but he retired when I was 7, so I wasn't involved in a lot of his moving around.

I can't think of any books I have with a military theme, but I think it's a great idea for a theme week!

Krista/Tower of Books said...

I look forward to the theme week. I don't think I've read any YA novels with a military theme...

PJ Hoover said...

BULL RIDER by Suzanne Morgan Williams is excellent!

MissAttitude said...

I own Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers(though I haven't read it yet) but it sounds excellent (and Bookshelf Monstrosity recommmends it as well). I really liked Mare's War and Flygirl (I think you've reviewed those already). Hmmm that's all I've got. I'll keep thinking.

Looking forward to your review of Purple Heart. Great theme idea!

Melanie said...

I'm curious to see what Emmy and Finn's thoughts are on MREs! We ate some of those after Hurricane Ivan swept through our area, and I was actually kind of surprised by how good some of the food was!

Literary Feline said...

Hello from a fellow military brat! It's been ages since I've read a military YA book, but then, I don't read many YA books these days unless they are fantasy related. I look forward to reading your thoughts on the ones you read this week. Maybe I'll have a few more books to add to my wish list. :-)

Angiegirl said...

Chiming in as another AF brat. :) It really is a sort of binding thing, isn't it? I've been living in the same place for the last few years and it feels like I'm going to come out of my skin. Lol. No joke. The wanderlust is alive and well.

This is a great idea, Lenore. And, though you've probably heard me go on about it, I adore the military-themed YA--THE ROAD HOME by Ellen Emerson White. Set in Vietnam, female nurse protagonist. It's out of print, but I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Mama Bookworm said...

Love this idea. I’m an Air Force wife and mom of three Air Force “brats”. I always love to meet others that have lived or are living the crazy military life.

Also in case you weren’t aware April is the month of the military child. Your idea has great timing to lead into that very special month : )

eldritchhobbit said...

Great idea for a theme week!

I'd recommend John Marsden's wonderful Tomorrow series for YA novels with a military theme.

alitareads said...

This is a great theme! I haven't read any of the books on your list, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you thought of them.

Heather Zundel said...

I had no idea! I'm trying to think of some good ones, but my brain is officially goo. I'll try and think of some for you.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you go to McConnell AFB a lot as well?

Zibilee said...

Very cool that you are doing this! I haven't read much about the military, except for war stories, so I will be excited to see what you have to share with us. You are always doing such interesting things over here!

Lenore said...

PJ - Great tip! Bull Rider sounds excellent.

MissA - I have reviewed Flygirl but not Mare's War. I just added it to my wishlist :)

Angie - I will be on the lookout for that one.

Mama B - I did not know that...very cool!


Anon - I might have gone to McConnell a couple of times, but I don't really recall for what.

Michelle said...

I come from a military family myself (though not a brat that was wandering) so I'm excited to see that you'll be focussing on this for a full week. :)

Michelle said...

I come from a military family myself (though not a brat that was wandering) so I'm excited to see that you'll be focussing on this for a full week. :)