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Price of Duty Paperback – 1 September 2019
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“Taut, compact, and suspenseful, the novel raises important questions about war.” —Kirkus Reviews
From award-winning author Todd Strasser comes a gripping novel that explores the struggles of war, the price paid by those who fight in them, and what it really means to be a hero.
Jake Liddell is a hero.
At least, that’s what everyone says he is. The military is even awarding him a Silver Star for his heroic achievements—a huge honor for the son of a military family. Now he’s home, recovering from an injury, but it seems the war has followed him back. He needs pills in order to sleep, a young woman is trying to persuade him into speaking out against military recruitment tactics, and his grandfather is already urging him back onto the battlefield. He doesn’t know what to do; nothing makes sense anymore.
There is only one thing that Jake knows for certain: he is no hero.
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[A] powerful novel... that is especially timely... The discussion this thought-provoking book will surely engender is both welcome and imperative. -- Booklist, *starred review* ― April 1, 2018
Taut, compact, and suspenseful, the novel raises important questions about war. -- Kirkus Reviews ― May 1, 2018
About the Author
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (1 September 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 192 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1481497103
- ISBN-13 : 978-1481497107
- Reading age : 14 years and up
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 1.27 x 20.96 cm
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What drives it are not clever and unexpected plot twists. Rather, the pace is pushed by the questions the main character asks, and the tough decisions he has to make once he’s home.
Having returned to a hero’s welcome, Jake Liddell asks himself if it was worth it. And if he’s really a hero. And why our country is fighting a “forever war.” And whether the kids like himself who sign up have any idea what they’re getting into.
As he struggles to decide what he should do, he also considers deeper questions. He recognizes that some wars are necessary, and somebody has to fight them. And young men will always be on the firing line. After all, if they opt out, who will be left to defend freedom?
This fast-paced and gripping novel cuts back and forth between Jake’s deployment in an unnamed country that seems to be Iraq, and his struggle to decide whether he will return to the war after his physical injuries heal, knowing that his deeper wounds are emotional.
And if he refuses, what will that make him? A coward? A disgrace to his family and his country? Or a different kind of hero?