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A Different Truth Paperback – July 15, 2016

4.7 out of 5 stars 37 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A Different Truth by Annette Oppenlander takes place in 1968, the year when the Vietnam War was at its bloodiest. Along with his best friend Tom, sixteen-year-old Andy Olson is banished to Palmer Military Academy. Oppenlander deftly weaves an insightful coming of age story in the year when the United States was commonly associated with unrest, the counterculture of the 1960s, and the never clearly explained or understood Vietnam War. The things that Andy and Tom have to endure at the boys' military prep school sheds some light onto the struggles of young men trying to adapt and survive in the authoritarian world of the military. I like the way in which Oppenlander keeps the thriller aspects of the book grounded, and I also like the way she handles the hazing scenes that some of the boys have to bear. The scenes are handled well, without too much exploitation of the victims and the perpetrators. In fact, it may even serve as another platform to generate discussions about hazing and bullying in schools. Nevertheless, some readers may prefer to be forewarned about this content. A Different Truth is a powerful and thought provoking tale that allows us to think about our moral decisions. Readers who are personally familiar with the history of the Vietnam War will be fascinated by the story of the boys at Palmer Military Academy, whereas the generation that was born after the war would be able to use it as a trajectory to discover more about this unseen but crucial part of history. -Readers' Favorite

From the Author

The setting of a boys' military prep school has always fascinated me because it is a world hidden behind closed gates. Add to that the turbulent times of the Vietnam era when the country was sharply divided and you have excellent material for a story.

The novel would not have been possible without the insights of my husband who attended a military prep school in the late 1960s. He allowed me to gain a feeling for what it means to be isolated and homesick as well as the stringent military rule teenagers endured.  

While his personal experiences were invaluable for the authenticity of military life, they have nothing to do with the story itself. A Different Truth explores the country's clashing viewpoints in the late 1960s as well as deals with the themes of bullying, hazing and what it means to do the right thing among great controversy, subjects as relevant today as they were fifty years ago. 

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Oppenlander Enterprises LLC; Revised with New Cover, Preface and Format ed. edition (July 15, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 232 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0997780010
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0997780017
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 14 - 18 years
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 10.9 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.53 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 37 ratings

About the author

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Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past.

Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, has received eight awards/nominations, including the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award, the 2018 Indie B.R.A.G. and the 2020 Skoutz Award in Germany. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she now lives in Germany with her husband.

“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a date or number, it turns into a story.”

More infos at annetteoppenlander.com

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
37 global ratings
5 star
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4 star
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3 star 0% (0%) 0%
2 star
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1 star 0% (0%) 0%

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Top reviews from other countries

Reader4life
4.0 out of 5 stars A coming of age story with a difference
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2017
Raymond Mathiesen
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth? How do we decide?
Reviewed in Australia on June 18, 2018