The book in question, “Fallen Angels,” is a gritty, realistic look at the Vietnam War from the perspective of one soldier.
The 1988 novel, a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, delves into controversial subjects from racism to war in general.
Is it pretty? No, but neither is racism.
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Is it gut-wrenching? In the same way all war is, yes.
The language is raw, the horrors of war are graphic, the changes in young men drafted to serve are heartbreaking. Yet, the book met with no objections in the previous four years it was read in Danbury middle school teacher Tim Heffernan’s class.
In a world where children much younger are exposed to simulated violence via TV, movies and video games, a heavy dose of the real tribulations of soldiers is a strong lesson to learn.
War is sometimes necessary and sometimes honorable. But it can’t be sugar-coated. Young men and women deserve to know the reality of war. They are the future of our military and the future of America.