Hope P., 16
Vietnam: Book One; I Pledge Allegiance
Morris, Ivan, Rudi, and Beck are inseparable friends, and will be for life. They pick on each other, and defend each other too. And no one-no one- outside the four messes with Rudi. Rudi is a little slower than the rest of the guys, even having to repeat a grade in school. Because he is older than the rest of the guys, he is eligible for the Vietnam War Draft. When he is called, all four boys sign up. They are all in different branches of the military, but they are fighting together, and they pledge they are coming home together too. That pledge means even more to Morris, who has had vivid, terrifying dreams every night about the war. He dreams his friends die, and he promises himself he will not let that happen. In the heart of the Vietnam War, that is a hard promise to keep. In the US Navy, he is seeing combat almost every day. The Air Force, Marines, and Army are no better off, and he gets very little word on his friends. There are times when it seems better to desert or worse. But he gave a pledge to protect his friends and he will keep it, or die trying.
I was actually surprised by this novel. Most novels about a war, and especially one as controversial as the Vietnam War, reflect the author’s own opinions. However, I felt Chris Lynch did a good job of remaining neutral, and portraying the events that happen through the character’s eyes, not his own. Each of the four characters had his own opinions about the War and I hope the series alternates between the four boys. This first novel [in the series], told from Morris’s point of view, centers on the US Navy and its roles and history; which I found very interesting. I will definitely read the next installment.
Rating: 4 Better than most