Today is week 1 of our group read-a-long of Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers. This week we read pages 1-86, and we hope you’ll leave your comments and/or answers to the questions after the post.
We welcome you to post your thoughts on your blog and provide a link or just type your thoughts in the comments section of the discussion post; whatever works best for you. You can answer our questions or just discuss whatever you found most interesting in each section.
***Beware of spoilers***
1. What are your first impressions of Robin “Birdy” Perry?
S: So far, I like Birdy. He’s amped up, but not overly so. He’s aware that war changes people, like his uncle, but he’s also aware that he was to contribute to society. While he’s a little unsure of his place in the army and feeling unprepared for the realities of war, he’s adjusting on the fly and trying to make the most of it. It’s clear he’s gone through the training, but I don’t think he feels prepared enough.
2. Civilian Affairs Battalion is expected to help the Iraqi people rebuild democracy. What do you think about that mission — realistic, too idealistic, or a combination?
S: I love the idea of being able to help a people rebuild after the elimination of a dictatorship, but when you’re also doing the ousting, it’s a little difficult to separate the two missions, especially when the people rarely, if ever, speak English or even have common goals. I think at best its an ideal, but at worst its a delusion that will quickly unravel.
3. How realistic do you find the characters initial interactions with each other and their reactions to what goes on around them?
S: I’m enjoying the enigmatic Jonesy for his blues and his connection to religion, while I’m also very engaged by the tough girl, Marla Kennedy. It seems like Jonesy’s trying to be aloof and tough, not trying to get too attached, but he’s taken sort of an instant liking to Birdy. Meanwhile, Birdy cannot seem to make out Marla or Jonesy’s motives or personalities yet, which is probably the nature of war and how it makes people want to remain as removed from others as possible to avoid the unavoidable loss they will feel if someone dies. So far, the interactions between the characters are believable given the situation and what’s expected of them. I really enjoy how Myers pinpoints reactions with body language as well as dialogue, like when Jonesy’s hand is twitching and Birdy’s just staring at the dead boy.
If you have discussion questions for the first section, we’d love to hear them. Post here or on your own blog. We’d love to read your thoughts….