Monday, March 24, 2014

Homeward bound

Recently, Canada’s military has more or less pulled up stakes in Afghanistan, its 12 year mission complete; I thought the book The Road to Afghanistan by Linda Granfield a timely selection for the blog.

This is a story told from the perspective of a Canadian soldier recently sent home, who is contemplating how she became a part of this mission and the cost of war -- any war -- for those involved.

Thinking about her great-grandfather who signed up to be a soldier in the First World War and its impact on his life, ties together the sacrifices that all soldiers understand they may have to make.  Her musings are interspersed with recollections of the sights, sounds and people she met while stationed in Afghanistan.  There’s a lot of beauty but there is also darkness and pain.   And the hopeful note that's found throughout the book is that life does go on despite the losses.

The book would be a good piece to bring into middle grade classrooms to start discussions and raise awareness about the nature and costs of war.  With so much in the news recently about veterans and the struggles that they often face returning home and becoming civilians again, this story provides an opportunity to further student understanding that war doesn’t end when the last shot is fired.

Consider using Kathy Stinson's  Highway of Heroes for younger students.


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