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American Sniper - Review by Hannah, Teen Blogger


American Sniper is the story of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL who did four tours in Iraq. This book describes Kyle’s training and upbringing to become a Navy SEAL, but the heart of the text deals with Kyle’s experience in combat. Though he was America’s most prolific sniper, Kyle’s wartime experience went well beyond shooting.

Kyle was a much unpolished writer, but he told his story clearly and genuinely. At times politically incorrect or even crude, Kyle’s writing seems restlessly honest. This is the kind of the book that could not be put down; it kept me on the very edge of my seat. I got through the book in about a week. Looking back, I probably should have read it a bit more slowly.

Being a dedicated soldier is not easy but being a Navy SEAL seems especially difficult as Kyle describes. Kyle recounts numerous experiences in combat, but he also does a nice job of explaining other aspects of life as a soldier, including how his work affects relationships with friends and family. The effect on Kyle’s family was not so positive. I’ve always thought that some people were made to be soldiers and Chris Kyle was definitely one of those people. These people are just born with a certain personality that makes seeing the brutalities of war first-hand a possibility.

Kyle is not an intellectual, although the book will make reader think about enormous cost of war and what fighting in Iraq has meant for American soldiers and their families. The Iraq war remains controversial and debate surrounding U.S foreign policy and the role of Americans in the world will likely intensify in the future. In that context, sometimes it’s helpful to set aside the complexities of geopolitics or grand strategy and examine Iraq through the lens of one soldier’s eye and story. I strongly urge reader to read this well written book; it will change your perspective on a numerous things.

 

Hannah,

Teen Blogger

[Editor's Note: American Sniper can be found in the Library's Adult Nonfiction collection.]

 

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