After her father dies, fourteen-year-old Corin needs her brother, Sonny, more than ever. Sonny is quiet but he's a great listener, and Cory knows where she can always find him - in the garage, working on his car. Life isn't so bad as long as Sonny is around. But thousands of miles from the sleepy little town of Ojala, California, where all the kids can think about is partying and racing, a war is going on, and Sonny is just the right age to be drafted. When Sonny tells Cory he's going to Vietnam, she is devastated. What are she and her mom supposed to do while he's gone? What if he doesn't come back at all? The new substitute history teacher is the only one who seems to understand. Cory has never met anybody like Lawrence. He's young, he's handsome, and he's passionately against the war that took her brother away. As Cory turns to Lawrence for the comfort Sonny once gave, she finds herself wanting much more than Lawrence could ever provide.
Valerie Hobbs eloquently depicts the feelings of loss, betrayal, and love felt by a young woman amid the confusion and excitement of the 1960s.
Sonny's War is a 2003 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.