Ghosts Of War

The True Story Of A 19-Year-GI (Summer reading Assessment)


Daniel Huth


9th grade LA gifted

14 August 2015

Bibliographic Information

Section 1

Author- Ryan Smithson

Copyright- 2009

Genre- Nonfiction


Section 2

Time Period- This story takes place during operation Iraqi freedom which began on March 20th, 2003.

Location- He was stationed in Iraq during the story.

Main Event Affecting the plot- The main event of this story is 9/11. This event puts everything into motion by letting Ryan build up the passion for wanting to avenge his fallen countrymen after the attack.
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Section 3

Protagonist- The protagonist is a 19 year old G.I. who has found his calling by serving his country after the infamous 9/11 attacks. He goes to war with the desire of being an engineer so that he can do his duty while staying out of the line of fire.

Traits- He is an average build teenager with blonde hair and blue eyes and the will to serve and avenge his fallen countrymen in the terrorist attack of 9/11

Antagonist- The Hajis he refers to as the people that are out to bomb and terrorize whatever they seem fit.

Traits- The Hajis are very difficult to point out. Because they where the same clothes as civilians and act like them they can not easily be detected. They can be women, children or men who have been brainwashed to believe their cause is righteous.


Section 4

Man vs Man - When Ryan went to basic training he found himself in a constant struggle with the drill sergeants.

Example- A great example of this is page 43

Man vs Himself- This conflict is best described by the attack on 9/11 because he can not decide whether he should go and fight or stay home and go to college.

Example- This conflict can be found at page 28

Man vs Nature- When Ryan is unloading three tractor trailers full of tent supply's and he realizes how hot it is out there.

Example- This can be found on page 260

Man vs Society- This conflict goes on throughout the book but pops up most when he is in the prison that has been converted to a barracks when the Hajis are bombing.

Examples- This is found mostly on page 172

Literary devices

Simile-"And people would treat me the way they have always treated me,like i am just another passenger on the plane" Page 178-179

Hyperbole- "They feel like the world is ending", Heather said about the dreams. Page 25

Irony-" The soldiers from our replacement unit are staying in Tent city where we stayed upon arrive back in December" page 265

Metaphor- "The CAT is smooth to operate,as opposed to the cruel rag-doll tossing that goes on in the green loader" page 260

Personal Reflection

This book is a great example of overcoming tragedy and turning it into a great deed. In the book a 17 year old boy experiences 9/11 during which finds his calling. He does this by joining the military and becoming an engineer and serving his country. Ryan finds himself in many bad situations, one of which is in the army barracks he finds himself fired upon by enemy mortars. He is also very modest saying many times that he is just a normal G.I. He says of himself there will be no movies about himself and he will not be on the news.