The Yellow Birds

A Novel

    • 4.2 • 436 Ratings
    • $9.99
    • $9.99

Publisher Description

Finalist for the National Book Award, The Yellow Birds is the harrowing story of two young soldiers trying to stay alive in Iraq.

"The war tried to kill us in the spring." So begins this powerful account of friendship and loss.

In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Bound together since basic training when Bartle makes a promise to bring Murphy safely home, the two have been dropped into a war neither is prepared for.

In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger. As reality begins to blur into a hazy nightmare, Murphy becomes increasingly unmoored from the world around him and Bartle takes actions he could never have imagined.

With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel that is destined to become a classic.

Fiction & Literature
September 11
Little, Brown and Company
Hachette Digital, Inc.

Customer Reviews

M7R. ,

The Yellow Birds

This story was a tiny window into the bleakness our fellow Americans experienced during their time in Iraq. Kevin Powers presents a moment of self reflection through characters who represent small fragments of our own being. I would recommend this book to anyone. It was a pleasure reading, and trying to understand in the smallest form the experience the men and women of the United States armed services went through.


Emmet Aloysius ,


This book had great potential but gets bogged down with forced phrasing, long winded sentences, strange descriptions, convoluted thoughts, difficult terms/vocabulary etc., which make this book hard to follow at times and therefore a struggle to read and enjoy. There is a good story lurking underneath all the layers of philosophy and observation but it tends to get buried. I see the author is a poet too so it helps me understand the conflict here as I generally do not enjoy poetry. I can see why some critics thought this was a great book as they are probably way smarter and more well read than I am...EAF

CJByrns ,

Powerful and haunting

The author's beautiful, exceptionally moving use of language, his modicum of words, and his fluency of expression make this a stunning debut as well as a powerful statement about both the coming of age of a young soldier and a testament to the brutality of this case, the Iraq war. I dare you to read this and not be emotionally involved.

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