Lynch, Chris. Fire-free Zone (Vietnam #3)
1 November 2012, Scholastic. ARC from Netgalley.com
After Rudi reluctantly joins the Marines, he finds that he enjoys military life more than he imagined. He loves to follow orders and please his superiors, and he's even more excited when his unit sees some active combat and he gets to kill a Vietnamese soldier. He takes a group of marines to retrieve care packages, and ends up doing a lot of fighting. When his leg is gravely injured in an attack on a village, he ends up in the hospital and could go home, but chooses to stay. When an unpleasant officer is killed right after his return, he is questioned about it, but Rudi's loyalties to the marines and his focus in killing the enemy are both very strong. His friends seem a little concerned about his gung ho attitude. I will be interested to see if Rudi's story is continued after he serves his tour.
Strengths: Lots and lots of good details of fighting that the boys will really like. This series fills a much needed gap in any historical fiction collection.
Weaknesses: Like the first book in the series, this seems to glorify war more than most middle grade fiction treatments of the topic, so I will be interested to see what the rest of the series brings.