Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012 6:17:14 PM
When my teacher first handed my group the book, we could tell none of us wanted to read this. Everyone else in B6 got the new novels with the shiny covers and thick paper, not tattered and bent stories about soldiers like we always read. I mean it was research not English, so why did we have to read this? I’d never even heard of it, let alone considered reading it. The book had a little picture of a soldier and a big X. That was creative. There was nothing there to lure me in, and I didn’t have time to read a book like this, all tiny like it was a kindergarten level. But when I began reading it, I only wanted to continue and keep reading. I changed my mind completely about this book. It wasn’t a Pulitzer winning masterpiece, but I could feel how the characters felt. The characters seemed so real to me, the story so unique, but everyone else in my little reading circle shrugged about it and continued without noticing the real beauty this book had.
The story Soldier X by Don Wulffson showed me an exciting adventure. The tragedies that the young protagonist Erik Brandt, a half Russian half German teen, showed an emotional journey through the soldier’s eyes during World War 2.
The perils Soldier X faced were believably executed and well written. The story jumped through a roller-coaster of emotion and gave me a warm feeling when the journey had been conquered, and the fact that the soldier and his nurse and love interest, Tamara, could still live on through the world they had discovered, sent me a sense of hope when I was in a dark time. They could make it after all they had been through. They fought through hardships that I have never experienced, but it was relatable because I felt like I was a soldier, fighting through my own struggles. They remained sane through death, ailments, and war, so why couldn’t I when fighting inner battles?
What inspired me about this story was that Tamara and Erik cared for each other even when their secrets found out. They should have been enemies but they made it work. I haven’t experienced a romantic relationship for myself so I can’t understand them, but the way that they got along when they were enduring mental, physical, and emotional damage from the war was beautiful. The lies and torture, the constant thought of death lurking around every corner. This book helped my writing by explaining that I should make my own writing more relatable, no matter what type of piece it is. I thought that this book was so different and unique and I just thought of it as another war story, another new assignment, and when the story included that it was true, I couldn’t believe it. And then I realized, we all have a story, and we always fight our own battles.