This Memorial Day weekend, I’ve seen memorials and/or parades honoring veterans in Seattle, Chicago, and New York. (Yes, it’s been a busy weekend.) I’ve been remembering those who gave their lives in service to our country, and those who served alongside those who did. Last year, I posted about authors who have written about military service. This year, I’d like to honor a Pacific Northwest author who is a veteran. His books offer insight and empathy into the lives of our armed forces.
Washington author Trent Reedy served in the National Guard in Afghanistan. His middle grade novel, Words in the Dust, came out of experiences he had in Afghanistan. The heroine of his novel was inspired by real-life Zulaikha, a girl born with a cleft lip, but whose spirit and courage before and after corrective surgery impacted Reedy strongly.
Reedy’s latest book, the YA thriller Divided We Fall, is set in a near-future Idaho, where the governor pits his National Guard troops against the federal government. Although the situation is a dystopian fantasy, the combat, the brotherhood, the loyalty, and the determination shown by hero Pfc. Daniel Wright are all incredibly realistic. This is the start of a suspenseful trilogy. Although it is published for teens, I would recommend it to anyone ages 14+ who enjoys military fiction, dystopia, and page-turners with moral complexity—adults definitely included.