Living Through D-Day

Today I have a book about the reality of living through D-Day.  If you want history to come alive for kids, I can not recommend this book highly enough.  I was confronted with my own limited knowlege of WW II while reading Allies, so parents, why not pick it up and give it a read after your kids!

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Title: AlliesLiving Through D-Day Allies

Author: Alan Gratz

Target: Grade 6 and up

Series: No

What this book is about:

Told in alternating voices, this book shares the story of D-Day.  The reader meets Dee, a young American who must storm the beaches and Jay, a Canadian in the Parachute Battalion.  We learn the story of Henry, a black U.S. medic and Monique, a young french girl caught in the fighting, to name a few.  This action packed book shares many of these individual’s specific experiences, all while weaving a tapestry of the events of the day. The win was deadly and heroic, with moments of bravery and sacrifice, chaos and gratitude.

Why I love this book:

  • This book does not sugar coat what happened on Omaha beach on D-Day.  The intensity is there on page one, and it rarely dissipates.  The reader is not spared the bloodbath that was the beginning of the invasion, but because the story is told from the perspective of those involved in the battle, we see their humanity, fear and courage.  
  • I appreciated the multiple perspectives of characters from different countries.  This book does not forget the sacrifices of our allies and it is nice to have a book that isn’t purely U.S. centric.
  • More than just a story of war, Gratz details both the external and internal struggles of the characters.  We learn what motivates them to fight for their country and how they reconcile some of their fallacious thinking.
  • This filled in a hole in my knowledge of WW II.  Of course I had a cursory understanding of D-Day, but now I have a much deeper understanding of both the battle and what it meant in the war.

Who this book is for:

Fans of history, especially WW II will gravitate to this book.  Kids who enjoyed Refugee, will also be drawn to this book.  If your child liked The Faithful Spy, I would hand them this one.

Final thoughts:

Gratz has done it again.  By sharing the humanity behind these soldiers, we are reminded of the real cost of war.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Allies.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.