Below is a link to the Amazon site for the book, as well as the Amazon book description. Just under the book description is a poem I wrote about the book and the main character, Ivan's experience fighting in Vietnam. The poem is titled "No Longer a Child" and is written in the style of Maxwell Bodenheim's famous poem Death
Amazon book description:
Some things are worth fighting for.
Of all his friends, Ivan is the only one looking forward to war.
That's because he has never backed down from a fight - - especially when it comes to fighting for what's right. He has protected his friends from bullies for years. And now, as war erupts in Vietnam, Ivan wants nothing more than to fight for his country, just as his father did in World War II.
Enlisting in the United States Army, Ivan is trained to be a sniper. And he's good at it. Very good. But Vietnam is not the war he was expecting. Somehow the glory and heroism of his father's war stories do not come so easily in the jungle.
Now, for the first time, Ivan is forced to question what he's really fighting for ... and whether it's a fight he can hope to win.
No Longer a Child
~by Crystal Casavant-Otto
Leaving the safety of home and school.
In the footsteps of my hero, Dad.
U.S. Army Man - marching to war.
My heart heavy death on all sides - feeling foreign.
Perched and hiding. Hoping. Zeroing in.
Secret missions, covering my men.
Innocent blood being shed.
My heart hardening with each spray of warm blood.
Fighting Christian morals of youth and rules of war.
How could I do it? Could I not?
Protecting my country. Innocence lost. Darkness.
Darkness without sleep. I am no longer a child.
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