Tessa is excited to see the latest war hero, Gideon, receive his medal. Gideon grew up in the apartment next to her and they played together as children. When Gideon refuses to accept the medal, claiming he is a coward, Tessa can't help but try to find out why.
The war, which apparently takes place between a future eastern United States against the western United States, has been going on for generations -- apparently hundreds of years. Society is poor and everything is run down because all the money is going towards the war.
Gideon returns home, broken and ill, and Tessa sneaks in to help him. She follows him, as he escapes, and they end up on an airplane, flying into enemy territory, because Gideon wants to apologize to the enemy for killing so many of them. They soon discover there's a stowaway, Dak, who is there to protect the stolen, black-market airplane.
I don't want to say too much more about the plot. These three unlikely heroes have an adventure and do some interesting problem solving that changes the world. It is a bit unrealistic, but entertaining if you allow yourself to go along for the ride. As usual, Haddix gives us much to think about and discuss--about war, it's causes, and the use of technology for decision making.
The Always War kind of reminded me of Ender's Game, although The Always War is much shorter and less complex. There's enough action in The Always War to keep reluctant readers interested, and with both male and female main characters, I think this will appeal to both sexes. The Always War is a short but entertaining, well-written, exciting book for tweens and teens.
Published by Simon & Schuster, 2011
Copy obtained from the library
197 pages (qualifies for my Books You Can Read in a Day Challenge!)
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