Did you know that 2013 is the first year Silicon Valley Reads (SVR) has selected a book just for teens? It's true! The psychological, wartime-thriller,Purple Heart, is the first SVR Teen selection, and it is a popular!
The book centers on Matt Duffy, a young soldier serving in the Iraqi War, who sustains a head injury during one of his daily patrols. Soon after arriving at a military hospital, Matt is presented with a Purple Heart medal and is being called a "hero" by the commanding officers. This troubles Matt because he cannot fully remember the incident that landed him in the hospital as well as who might have lost their lives in the process.
Participants of the Cupertino Library's Teen Book Club met live, via a Skype loaded iPad, with the author of Purple Heart, Patricia McCormick, during the group's monthly Thursday meeting. The teens learned that one of McCormick's main influences to write the book was her very own husband, a Purple Heart recipient during the Vietnam Conflict.
McCormick gave insight into how she developed the characters and gave each of them unique personalities. She also explained that in preparation for writing the book, she met with American soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of which were living in Veterans Hospitals' recovering from wounds sustained in battle. Since publication, Purple Heart has received praise from veterans, saying it helped capture a glimpse of what life is like while serving in the war.
McCormick also asked the teens questions that ranging from, "What is your favorite book?" to "What makes for a good story?"
After the meeting concluded, and Patricia signed off, one of the teens made the comment, "That was a lot of fun. I wish we could Skype with all the authors of the books we read."