Hide Cookie Control notification

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

Close cookie details

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your experience at our website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been stored. You may remove and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to remove them, please see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue using this site, please click here.

  Main Nav
While He Was Away
Cover of While He Was Away
While He Was Away
Borrow Borrow Borrow
One year—he'll be gone for one year and then we'll be together again and everything will be back to the way it should be.The day David left, I felt like my heart was breaking.Sure, any...
One year—he'll be gone for one year and then we'll be together again and everything will be back to the way it should be.The day David left, I felt like my heart was breaking.Sure, any...
Available Formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    2
  • Library copies:
    2

Recommended for you

 

Description-

  • One year—he'll be gone for one year and then we'll be together again and everything will be back to the way it should be.

    The day David left, I felt like my heart was breaking.

    Sure, any long–distance relationship is tough, but David was going to war—to fight, to protect, to put his life in danger. We can get through this, though. We'll talk, we'll email, we won't let anything come between us.

    I can be on army girlfriend for one year. But will my sweet, soulful, funny David be the same person when he comes home? Will I? And what if he doesn't come home at all...?

    "A tender and honest examination of love, longing, and loyalty in the face of modern war."—Laura Ruby, author of Bad Apple

    "While He Was Away is a wonderful love story with writing that is skillful and true."—Amy Timberlake, author of That Girl Lucy Moon

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    One

    I won't let the Oklahoma wind whip our words away. They can get lost when David and I fly along like this-him driving his red motorcycle, me holding on tight to him. But tonight, especially tonight, I won't let it happen. Tomorrow is soon enough. Tomorrow is another enforced separation, maybe silence. Only this time it's different. Tomorrow David is really, truly gone.

    I lean into the ratcheting wind, into him, and shout, "Say something!"

    David's muscled back moves against me. He laughs. I love the sound of his laugh. It's been rare since last March, when he shipped off to OSUT. One Station Unit Training. That's what OSUT stands for. For David and other infantry guys like him, OSUT means basic and advanced individual training slapped into eighteen weeks.

    For me, OSUT means Our Separation is Unbelievably Terrible. I never told David this, not in any of our phone conversations during that time. Not at Family Day. Definitely not on the day of his graduation. Positive attitude. That's what I've got to maintain, now that I'm an army girlfriend. At least that's what all the bloggers say. The girls and women in chat rooms. The answers to FAQs on various military-related sites.

    Question: What's the best way to help your soldier?

    Answer: Keep a positive attitude. Write lots of encouraging letters. Soldiers look forward to daily mail call.

    I wrote lots of encouraging letters while David was at OSUT. David, who wrote letters to me all the time before he left-even when we'd already spent an entire day together, did not write at all. No time, he explained. Phone calls would have to be enough. When I saw his schedule, I understood. Still, there were days when I felt bummed about the lack of encouraging mail for me. On those days I'd pull out his old letters. I'd remember finding them slipped into my locker or book bag or mailbox. I'd read them again.

    I'd wait forever to get another letter from David.

    "'Say something?'" His voice, echoing mine, is strong against the wind: "Something!"

    "You know what I mean!"

    But something is better than nothing, so I kiss David's ticklish neck-his brown skin tanned even darker now-until a shudder runs through him and he cries out, "Mercy!"

    Now I'm laughing too, laughing like there's no tomorrow. We bank around a sharp curve and bump from two-lane pavement and the outskirts of Killdeer to single-lane, red dirt road and the country. David revs the bike, sending up a cloud of dust. I bury my face in his shoulder to keep from getting an eyeful. My helmet bumps against his shoulder bone. I'm not laughing anymore. Why laugh when I can still breathe him in? Clean, spicy soap. Faint salty tang. And fresh-cut grass, because this afternoon he mowed the yard for his mom and dad. One last time.

    David.

    When I look up, we've left Killdeer's streetlights far behind. Stars prick the dusky sky. Shapes dart and skitter in the bright headlight-bugs, birds, and bats, trying to clear out of the way. I kiss David's neck again, and we swerve for one wild moment before he swiftly steers us straight.

    "Penna! You're distracting me." David casts this over his shoulder like a token. "Stop, or there could be trouble." He flashes his charming, crooked grin and starts singing Elvis Costello's "Accidents Will Happen" at the top of his lungs, all off-key.

    "Don't!" With such heat in my voice, I hardly sound like myself. "Accidents-not funny. Or victims. Not now. Not ever."

    Immediately I'm filled with regret. That was just the...

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2012
    When her boyfriend David leaves for a stint in Iraq, Penna is anxious and devastated, but eventually she finds ways to cope. At first, observing Penna change from a girl totally absorbed in her boy to one who has other concerns, friends and responsibilities is like watching paint dry. But the pace rapidly picks up as both David and Penna become more caught up in their immediate environments. Penna discovers information about a grandmother who has been missing in her life, gets pulled into waiting tables at her mother's restaurant and finds new friends with whom she can share her current life. In Iraq, David struggles with the mind-numbing work of patrols and the terror that interrupts it, and he focuses on an orphanage for Iraqi refugee children as a way to be useful. Strong characterization, the vivid setting of a small Oklahoma town and the clear depiction of present life, with Skype, e-mail and phones with their inadequate promise of instant communication, strengthen the narrative and ground it in the present. Paralleling Penna's story is her discovery of a grandmother who lost her first husband in World War II. The perils of war limn the memories of the women left behind and cast into relief both their devotion and their need to continue to live separate and independent lives. A strong entry in the growing genre of fiction about the Iraq war. (Fiction. 12 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2012

    Gr 9 Up-Penna is determined to be a positive "Army girlfriend" while her boyfriend, David, is stationed in Iraq. Faced with the prospect of a year without him, the 18-year-old is wrought with fear, worry, and loneliness. As relative newcomers to Killdeer, a small Oklahoma town, Penna and her mother have few ties to the community beyond the house and restaurant they inherited from her grandfather. Friendless and alone while her mother works long hours, Penna waits for phone calls from David and begins to uncover some family history in the attic. Her contact with him is infrequent, and instead of spending her time preparing her art portfolio for college, she lies in bed rereading his letters. In an attempt to pry Penna from her depression, her mother hires her as a server at the restaurant. Despite her lack of skills as a waitress, Penna begins to make new friends and a new purpose. As her maturity and self-awareness develop, she connects with her mother as well as her estranged grandmother. She also comes to terms with her separation from David. Teens will devour this title quickly despite some stilted dialogue and one-dimensional characters. The ending is realistic and void of any fairy-tale solutions that might diminish the harsh realities of what soldiers often face.-Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD

    Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Title Information+

  • Publisher
    Sourcebooks
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:

Digital Rights Information+

  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You have reached the maximum number of titles you are allowed to recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 days.

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend this title for your digital library.

Close

Enhanced Details:

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Recommend this title for your digital library
While He Was Away
While He Was Away
Karen Schreck
Optional:
Close
Buy it now
and support our digital library!
While He Was Away
While He Was Away
Karen Schreck
A portion of your purchase goes to support your digital library.
Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel

Close

Renewing this title won't extend your lending period. Instead, it will let you borrow the title again immediately after your first lending period expires.

Close

You can't renew this title because there are holds on it. However, you can join the holds list and be notified when it becomes available for you to borrow again.

Close