Purple Heart

Purple Heart

Patricia McCormick

Language: English

Pages: 199

ISBN: 0061730920

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


When Private Matt Duffy wakes up in an army hospital in Iraq, he's honored with a Purple Heart. But he doesn't feel like a hero.

There's a memory that haunts him: an image of a young Iraqi boy as a bullet hits his chest. Matt can't shake the feeling that he was somehow involved in his death. But because of a head injury he sustained just moments after the boy was shot, Matt can't quite put all the pieces together.

Eventually Matt is sent back into combat with his squad—Justin, Wolf, and Charlene—the soldiers who have become his family during his time in Iraq. He just wants to go back to being the soldier he once was. But he sees potential threats everywhere and lives in fear of not being able to pull the trigger when the time comes. In combat there is no black-and-white, and Matt soon discovers that the notion of who is guilty is very complicated indeed.

National Book Award Finalist Patricia McCormick has written a visceral and compelling portrait of life in a war zone, where loyalty is valued above all, and death is terrifyingly commonplace.

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read from the label in a lisping, mock-gay voice. “‘The natural way to repair and revive sun-damaged skin.’” He opened the jar and sniffed. “My kid sister sent it to me,” he said. “I told her I needed sunscreen.” He shook his head. “Girls. They’re like a different species, you know?” Matt put his hands to his cheeks, an imitation of the Home Alone kid. “OMG!” he said in a high, girly voice. “That’s what my girlfriend says,” he said in a normal voice. “She’s like…turned into…you know…that girl,

football field, had marble floors, marble walls, a balcony around the top, and a gigantic crystal chandelier. In the middle of the floor were rows of metal-frame canvas cots, each one topped with mosquito netting; around the edge of the room were a dozen Porta Potties. The whole place looked like some kind of weird, palatial summer camp. As Matt and the MPs walked by, the soldier holding the bag of Doritos looked over at Matt and gave him a wry, better-you-than-me look. Finally they crossed

your recollection of the chain of events would not be considered reliable.” Brody’s tone made it clear that this was not a question. Matt held his breath. He had memorized each thing that had occurred that day in the alley as best as he could determine it, using the numbered list in his notebook the same way he’d memorized the World Series trivia. He’d crammed all morning and he was ready, he hoped, to answer Brody’s questions. Brody sighed. “It’s unfortunate,” he said. “But this is what

your recollection of the chain of events would not be considered reliable.” Brody’s tone made it clear that this was not a question. Matt held his breath. He had memorized each thing that had occurred that day in the alley as best as he could determine it, using the numbered list in his notebook the same way he’d memorized the World Series trivia. He’d crammed all morning and he was ready, he hoped, to answer Brody’s questions. Brody sighed. “It’s unfortunate,” he said. “But this is what

small prayer rug after another. Matt could tell—from the polite smile frozen on her face—that Charlene was just trying to be friendly. But he also knew that the man was hoping to make a sale. After Charlene had looked at all the rugs without making an offer, the man snapped his fingers and gestured to his son to get more samples from the back of the stall. Charlene shook her head. “Beautiful,” she shouted, as if that would help. “But no, thank you.” The man looked confused, then went back to

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