Review of Brave Like My Brother from Kirkus Reviews (4/15/16):
Clarifications regarding the nonfiction:
- "blow-by-blow account": Early in the story, I establish that soldiers could not reveal precisely where they were or what they were doing strategically, and Joe does not. (In fact, for most of the story, as he notes, he does not know what he's doing.)
- "no evidence of censorship": I address military censorship throughout the story. This includes implying that there are gaps in the letter sequence because of it (as other reviewers have commented on). Also, as the war went on, censors sometimes relaxed their restrictions (or missed things).
- "defies credibility that Joe would easily recognize said tank": I never said it was easy! More to the point, I did not elaborate on how Joe knows, but that does not mean there weren't clues. (As in any letter, especially one written by a young soldier at war, some details are left out.) Given how meticulous military protocol is, it seems well within reason to assume the uninflated tank was labeled or marked in some way.
- "his minute recall is similarly unlikely": Joe is writing letters within days or even hours of the events occurring, so details would be fresh in mind.