Walter Dean Myers.
Two-time Newbery Honor author Walter Dean Myers is no stranger to war. His father served in WWII, his brother died while fighting in the Vietnam War, his son was stationed in Qatar during the first Gulf War, and his grandson served in Iraq at the beginning of the current conflict. Understandably, the author has a deeply personal connection to the subject of his latest novel, Sunrise Over Fallujah, narrated by a teenage soldier deployed to Iraq. Next month, Scholastic will release the novel with a 50,000-copy print run, as well as a 20th anniversary paperback edition of Fallen Angels, Myers’s Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel set in the battlefield jungles of Vietnam.Myers also has firsthand experience in the military, having served in the Army for three years, after enlisting on his 17th birthday. “When I joined the Army,” Myers recalls, “I had a romantic notion of war, having read World War I British poetry and watched films about World War II.” That image was soon shattered. His brother’s death in Vietnam caused Myers to reflect further on war and its meaning and led him to write Fallen Angels. “I wanted to dispel the notion of war as either romantic or simplistically heroic,” he explains.