The main character in this book is Sam a 17 year old that lost his dad in the Vietnam War and because her mom got re-married she felt her alone. Her mother move away but she let her keep the house and her uncle Emmitt moved in with her. She had a pretty good life until one day she decided to go to the veteran memorial. Sam wanted to find out who she was. She felt like she had no identity so she wanted to find out more stuff about the Vietnam War and her father. During summer she decided to go to the Vietnam memorial, during the trip she noticed a lot of things about herself and the world. She started to mature and become a young adult. Once they arrived at the memorial she was surprised at how huge the wall was. For her this was it, the memorial meant everything to her. When she started looking for her dad's names a man helped her find it and she finally understood everything and felt that she can continue with her life.
The theme that goes through out the book is on how Sam tries to find herself and how the Vietnam War affected her life. I think the author wrote this book to bring comfort to those people that were affected by the war and how its hard to deal with the loss of a loved one you feel shouldn't have left yet.