Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis

Ben Bright has had a great high school experience. He is in the school play, he has a best friend, Niko, and a girlfriend, Ariela. He also has a secret. While the rest of his class is applying to college or thinking about what sort of job they might get after graduation Ben is going to the Army. His mind is made up but he hasn’t told anyone about his plans because he is pretty sure no one would understand his motivations. He’s right. Because when the time comes and Ben breaks the big news everyone is confused and hurt. His girlfriend, best friend, family, and teachers all think he has lost his mind and try to talk him out of his decision. But Ben stands firm. He has a deep sense of patriotism and a desire to give back to the country that has given him so much. Besides, he’s just going into the Reserves – it’s not like he is going to have to go to Iraq or anything like that. Except Ben’s platoon does get called into service and everything is fine until it isn’t. Ben is wounded in an attack and nobody’s life is the same after.

I enjoyed this book because it offered a straightforward look into why someone would decide to join the army and go to war. It also deals with the very real consequences of that decision and sheds light on what happens when a soldier is wounded. Ben is not the only one affected by his injuries and “Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am” illustrates how entire lives and families can be changed by war.

Review by Leah, CLP-Downtown & Business

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