Amaryllis by Craig Crist Evans

January 11, 2011
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Amaryllis, by Craig Crist Evans


When was the last time you got a letter from a family member surrounded by death in Vietnam? That is what Amaryllis, by Craig Crist Evans, is all about. Frank Staples is an American soldier trying to escape an abusive father. He remembers that his brother is left under the care of their father. To try and help his little brother, Jimmy, he starts writing to him. Inside one of the letters, Frank tells Jimmy of him getting shot by the northern Vietnamese. He also tells that he has started using morphine (or heroin for short). Jimmy starts worrying even more because he thinks that his brother Frank might be a junkie! Ironically, Frank used to warn Jimmy about the danger of becoming a junkie.

This story really strikes a nerve with me because I’ve listened to the protest music and talked to some veterans. It also does because half of my family grew up during that era. One of them told me that one time she was sitting in the living room, watching the news, and then the broadcaster started listing all the American casualties. All she could do was sit there and cry.

Amaryllis is about more than the war. The story is about when there’s an obstacle you don’t lay down and die. You get over it and keep going. The story can never be fully understood, but I think it would be perfect for fifteen and up because Evans did a great job on making it like the real world with cussing and what not, but he also does well when he made it easy for non-adults to read.





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Ohiostateman said...
May 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm
nice book review 
 
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