(ARC) Tour: Purple Daze

Purple Daze by Sherry Shahan | What would you do if your boyfriend was shipped overseas to fight in a war? How would you feel if your best friend slept with your boyfriend? Who would you turn to if you got pregnant unexpectedly? And why is high school so boring? These are real and familiar dilemmas faced by today’s teens across America. They are also the issues explored in Sherry Shahan's provocative novel PURPLE DAZE (Running Press Teens; March 22, 2011; $15.95). 

Meet Ziggy, Mickey, Cheryl, Nancy, Don, and Phil, a group of six close-knit friends growing up in suburban Los Angeles in 1965. Through journal entries, notes, interconnected free verse and traditional poems, the six friends reveal their intense experiences and feelings about the world that is unfolding before them. Draft numbers are increasing, Malcolm X is assassinated, and the Vietnam War is escalating just as activism through the peace movement is revving up. As the United States is undergoing cultural and political revolutions, the lives of these six friends endure their own dramatic changes. 

PURPLE DAZE is informed by Shahan’s own experiences growing up in this frenzied period. Using letters she found from a friend stationed in Vietnam and a well-documented timeline of the year, Shahan is able to conjure up the raw emotions of the era. Each character reflects on how they are navigating the ever-changing world with deep honesty and raw emotion making the themes in PURPLE DAZE as relevant today as they were almost 50 years ago.

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