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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (496 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ryan Smithson Narrator: Ryan Smithson Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Ryan Smithson joined the Army Reserve when he was seventeen. Two years later, he was deployed to Iraq as an Army engineer. In this extraordinary and harrowing memoir, readers march along one GI's tour of duty. It will change the way you feel about what it means to be an American.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A tough but powerful look at one man's experience.” 

    School Library Journal (starred review)

  • “This memoir is a remarkable, deeply penetrating read that will compel teens to reflect on their own thoughts about duty, patriotism and sacrifice.” 

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 

  • “Smithson avoids writing either pro-war propaganda or an antimilitary polemic, providing instead a fascinating, often humorous—and occasionally devastating—account of the motivations and life of a contemporary soldier.” 

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Malcolm | 2/1/2014

    " Ghosts of War is a well-written memoir by Ryan Smithson, a young American GI who decides to join the military after learning about 9/11 and visiting ground zero with his girlfriend Heather. Appealing reading for teenagers and adults alike. Quite readable, but not too graphic, so it's a good choice for any readers age 13 or above. It includes all kinds of military terms like IED (explosive devices) and SOP (standard operating procedure). My 9th grade students, some of whom are reluctant readers, enjoyed it for summer reading. I recommend it to anyone interested in the workings of the military, coming of age books, or eyewitness accounts of war. Poignant and very readable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Bhadshah | 1/28/2014

    " This book looked boring, but I had to give it a shot for History and it is actually good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by MrsB | 1/24/2014

    " ALBA 2012 This is well-written for a memoir. I often find that sometimes people with interesting stories are unable to tell them well. Not so for Ryan here. This is both accessible and poetic at times. I will highly recommend this to my middle school and high school boys. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Sharon | 1/20/2014

    " This one was okay. Would be a good read for someone who doesn't know anyone who has served. The writing isn't superb, but the author isn't a "writer," so in that respect, it was fine. "

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About the Author

Ryan Smithson joined the Army Reserve and was deployed to Iraq as an engineer at the age of nineteen. Upon returning, he earned an AAS degree in criminal justice. Specialist Smithson doesn’t know if he’ll be deployed again. He currently works for the American Red Cross as a mobile unit assistant and lives with his wife in upstate New York.