Sunrise Over Fallujah

Walter Dean Myers


Sunrise Over Fallujah, by Walter Dean Myers, is a novel about the modern day war in Iraq. A young man named Robin Perry enters the military, opposing his father's will. He is put into the Civil Affairs Unit and his job is to aid the civilians of Iraq as well as to try and rebuild the torn social structure. In Iraq, Robin meets Jonesy, Marla, Captain Coles, Captain Miller and Major Sessions. Together, their squad deals with everything from armed, hostile civilians to aiding wounded children and everything in between.


Person vs. person is a conflict that develops in the book. Robin and his unit are in the middle of a war and must fight for their lives.

Person vs. self; Robin deals with the morals of warfare and killing innocent people internally. He is torn over the sadness of death, and whether it is really necessary to kill all of these civilians to win the war and help his country.

Major Themes

The morals and ethics of war is a theme that has emerged during the story. Robin constantly witnesses shootings of young men and women and it is hard for him to swallow. Robin and his group must learn to cope with the deaths of innocent civilians, which is not an easy thing to do whatsoever. "I had seen Ahmed digging the grave for a stranger's child. There was something that Ahmed knew that we all knew: The children belonged to all of us. It was a message the heart wanted to sing" (235).

Another major theme is bravery. In the beginning of the novel, Robin is not courageous and does not understand what it takes to be a real soldier. As the story progresses, he learns a little more every day of what it takes to fight for your country and he is much braver than he was when he first enlisted.

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